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Believe and Get Lucky!

Twenty bush men gazed into the roaring flames of the camp fire outback. It was a winter Saturday night in July '03, and the men were out near Goodooga in the north west of NSW. On a river bank, no road, no truck, no town, no sounds to be heard. No moon too, but the brilliant stars simply burned through the night air.

Twenty men, that's all. They meet this way twice a month to talk, drink coffee and tea-and they pray. Yes, pray. They found that praying about things brings answers to questions not satisfied any other way! That's when one man commented that he'd learned the secret of living was to believe his beliefs, and not doubt them. That's it. I believe in God, so I live like I believe it. That's all. Said the greatest sin is to believe that God exists and then live like He doesn't. If you doubt your beliefs, you'll fail, he said. And they prayed about it.

Someone's wife sent a tasty dough-mix for the bush oven, with raisins and honey, and 90-minutes later the hot coals were brushed away, out came the butter and treacle, and steam rose into the air from the hot slices as the men devoured them with relish.

Sometimes they sang. Phil dragged out his wheezy old accordion. The gutsy singing lacked finesse, but who cared? After The Old Rugged Cross was finished, someone told the story of the song. They chatted away about events, trials, successes, joys, circumstances, and heard how one old timer out west got right by singing it. Brought back fond childhood memories, and what they revive. If a fella is going to believe in God, he should behave that way, and quit changing all the time. The idea caught on and they talked it through. A padre read the Scriptures, and spoke warmly that God will change men who are serious about Him.

That's when the old fella on the right with the dusty hat burst out that his wife wouldn't have a thing to do with him because he was a cynic about God, and would not believe. She said he needed to live right, and until he did, he could stay in the garage. Silence hung heavy. It's cold nights in the garage for an old fella.

They prayed a bit more, cleaned up the place, and about midnight were all on their way home-in various directions.

Next morning, Sunday, the fellow who said believe your beliefs was walking in the sunny winter's morning, on his way to the 9am church service.

He was surprised in the street by the man in a hat on the right, who grabbed him on the shoulder and exclaimed out loud, "It works. I now believe my beliefs." Then he grinned, "And guess what? I got lucky!"

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