I recently listened to a sermon entitled “The Piñata and the Iceberg,” and I heard a lot of good perspectives on the way we tend to live out our faith. Faith like a piñata is often what we attempt, but faith like an iceberg is what God offers for us. They’re not exactly opposites, but when you think about the two, there’s definitely a lot of contrast.
A piñata is a party toy that children take turns swinging at with a stick, until eventually it’s hit hard enough that candy comes out, and the kids get to enjoy sugary treats after their many fierce attempts to break the piñata apart. On the other hand, an iceberg isn’t particularly exciting. It seems to be just a giant cube of ice floating in the water, but it has formed over years and years, and it stays put firmly in its spot in the sea.
When you consider this in terms of our faith, it becomes a lesson about discipline, habit, and groundedness. So often, we attempt a piñata-like faith – we occasionally crack open Scripture or bow our heads to take a swing at our faith piñata, and if we’re lucky, all of the good blessings will come spraying out for us to enjoy. A piñata-like faith is fast-paced and infrequent; it involves action when a reward is desired, but if nothing is “needed” from God, then the piñata stick isn’t swung. This is a faith that takes place in between the events of our hurried lives and a faith that we trust when the blessings come, but doubt when they don’t.
On the contrary, an iceberg-like faith is neither fast-paced nor infrequent, but it is a slow, long process of regular, intentional time with God. An iceberg-like faith is going to be there when issues arise, and it will hold on whether conditions are good or bad. Just like an iceberg is connected to a larger glacier, faith like this stays connected to God. It abides in Him and derives its strength from His unmoving nature. This is a faith that permeates our busy lives, overcomes struggles, punctuates hardship, and relentlessly hangs on for the long haul. It doesn’t always look exciting, but ultimately it’s going to bear blessings far greater than those held by the piñata.
I hope that we will strive to have faith like an iceberg – a slow, sure, dedicated faith, always rooted into God and strengthened though Him in all things.