The early 1800’s marked an important time in History for Hawaii island. A few horses were brought to Kealakekua Bay via an American ship. This meant that there was a new way of transportation around the island. Eventually horses were one of the ways some traveled around Hilo. Riders would tie their horses on hitching rings that were fastened to a curb in front of businesses.
Fascinatingly enough, a few of these metallic rings remain in downtown Hilo. You may even be able to see circular indentations in the sidewalk--pressed like a dinosaur fossil--where some of these rings used to exist. The next time you’re roaming around downtown Hilo, be sure to be on the look out for this amazing artifact of Hilo history.
These rings do bring an old Arab proverb to mind. It simply states. “Trust in God, but tie your camel.” Perhaps the modern version of this proverb would be, “Trust in God, but lock your car.” But for the sake of this article in relation to Hilo history we can adjust the proverb to, “Trust in God, but tie your horse.” There are two parts to this proverb that are existing simultaneously. Having faith in God, and a display of action. Though this particular proverb is not found in the Bible, there is a biblical passage that comes to mind.
The book of James is filled with practical ways to live as a Christian. It is a letter that bluntly shows its original readers what authentic Christian living looks like. There is a passage in James that is commonly shared amongst Christians:
“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
This passage is commonly and incorrectly interpreted to mean that “works” is essential for salvation. The actua
l meaning refers to the fact that TRUE FAITH will SHOW ACTION. The reverse is also true...Faith that doesn’t show action or fruit is not actual faith. It is dead. When we have TRUE FAITH in God, people will simply notice because of our actions.
Of course a contrast to work is laziness. It’s easy to think that having faith in an All-Powerful God means we can sit back and watch Him work. The truth is that God intends for us to work. Not work for our salvation, but rather work so that we may put our faith in God on display for others to see. To put it bluntly, having a relationship with God through faith is not an excuse to be lazy.
For example, we shouldn’t pray for a good grade without studying. We shouldn’t ask God to help us win a game without practicing. We shouldn’t expect God to help us excel in our jobs without going through proper training. It’s essential to TRUST that God is at work, but that also means we are at work too.
God wants to work in this world by using Christians to accomplish His will. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” Therefore, what is faith if there is no action? What is faith if we don’t show wisdom by taking responsibility for what God entrusts to us?
May we TRUST IN GOD, and not forget to TIE OUR HORSE. May we (as Christians) have confidence that God will move, yet also be responsible in our lives. May we (as Christians) have faith that shows action, which in turn puts the work of God on full display.