Have you ever lived in a house where 2 people have loud music playing at the same time? This scenario of Stereo Wars happened to me quite frequently in college. Depending on what music was playing I would be drawn to dance to one beat whilst trying to ignore the other, until the point where the other melody was more attractive and so I would switch my focus.
I remembered this dance this week when I was in a conversation about Belief and Unbelief.
In Mark 9:14-29 A boy with an evil spirit is brought to Jesus. The boy's father tells of all that the boy has suffered and asks Jesus if he is able to do anything. Jesus tells the father 'All things can be done for the one who believes.' and the father responds 'I believe, help my unbelief!'
Some translations of this passage say 'Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief'. When I was younger that is what I wanted, for my unbelief to be eradicated, and, if that were not possible, for it to be neutralized and rendered powerless in my life.
Interestingly enough the word 'overcome' is not in the Greek text of this verse. The word for help (βοηθεω = boetheo) used here literally means to give assistance to, to come along side and give aid. Nothing about overcoming.
I'm learning to see that both my Belief and my Unbelief are necessary. My beliefs can provide strength when my unbeliefs can feel overwhelming and paralyzing, and my unbeliefs can shape, refine and mature my faith....
..and both belief and unbelief can lead me into the mystery of God.