My Simple Faith: And why some tortoises drive Ferraris
by Sean Bastable
My Simple Faith: And why some tortoises drive Ferraris
This is a book about God. And everything else.
Like why I hate TV advertisements, why I have an iPod, why I sing Spurs songs, why I’m troubled by Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Mouse, why I keep falling off my bike, why I’d like to become a tortoise and why I’ve discovered that growing roses isn’t so bad after all. But more importantly, it’s about how I’ve come to know what Love is.
And you can read it, you can believe it, you can debate it or even dismiss it. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Because it’s just my thoughts, my view, my perspective. My understanding of God and all that is. And that’s it really.
There are very few things in life of which I’m certain.
The first is this: there is a God.
What is He? I’m not sure.
Where is He? I’m not sure.
Where did He come from? I’m not sure.
What does he do all day? I’m not sure.
Does He sleep, does He tire, what does He look like? I’m not sure.
Of course I could answer these questions by making assumptions. Or maybe I could recite the beliefs I’ve inherited from my parents or the lessons I was taught at Sunday school or the things I’ve read in the Bible.
But these are just views, thoughts, the perspectives of others. The perspectives of people and not necessarily the explanation for the way things really are. Let’s be honest; I don’t know how the world was created and neither do you. Or if you do, then I ask, “Were you there? Did you see it? Do you know someone who was there who saw it?”
You see the only way we can “know” these things is by making assumptions. But if we make assumptions, are we then any more certain than we were before? So instead, I choose not to answer these questions.
For me the matter is simple. I ask one question.
Is there a God? Yes. Of this I’m sure.
And when you ask me how I know, I respond by saying, “Open your eyes. Open your eyes to all that is, to all that has been and to all that will be.”
Can you marvel at the smallness of a ladybird and tell me, that it just is? Can you gaze upon the bigness of the night sky and tell me, that it just is? Can you study the mystery of the great white shark and tell me, that it just is? Can you ponder the strangeness of a praying mantis and tell me, that it just is? Can you share in the miracle of human life, or just life itself, and tell me, that it just is?
And if you can, if you can do that, do you honestly expect me to believe you?
Because I won’t.
I know that there is a God because I’ve opened my eyes to the creation I share my life with and I simply cannot conclude, that it just is. And more importantly, I simply cannot conclude, that I just am. The idea that somehow I have just mysteriously come to be, that by some random chain of events I simply am, is foolishness to me. And this for me is not an assumption. This for me is a fact.
I cannot be, just because life is.
This little book was not at all what I had expected. It was so much more.
This is an incredibly moving and personal story of one man’s faith, his encounters with God, and the difference his faith has made to his life. This book does not set out to preach, or to convert. All the author has done is set out his own experiences with getting to know God.
He does so with a refreshingly different approach to the oldest story ever told, and the question that has occupied the minds of mankind since the advent of Christianity: ‘Is there a God?’
The ‘simple’ truths this little book contains are not so simple. In fact, they are incredibly profound and moving. The way he tells his story can’t help engage the reader, no matter the age. Yet the simplicity can be deceptive. The parables are clear, easy to grasp, and have ‘light-bulb’ potential. What is also incredibly refreshing is the honesty, the candour, the personal glimpses, and above all, the flashes of humour.
This book not only has the power to teach, entertain and amuse, it has the power to change attitudes, and lives.
Foreword by David Winch
I was excited when I first heard that Sean was going to write this book. I was excited, because it meant that hundreds of hours of intellectual jockeying had not been wasted and I was about to see the tangible results of many years of hard labour.
Our journey together started out under the stars in Kokstad (South Africa) with a bottle of cheap wine. I was a young budding accountant. Logical. And atheist. Sean was one of those religious types. Blind faith. Unthinking. And over the years fate seemed to throw us together. First we shared an office, then a house and later a job. And so a friendship developed and our discussions got deeper.
You name it, we discussed it. All the important things in life. The real big issues. God. Religion. Creation. Cricket. Nothing escaped our scrutiny. And these weren’t just superficial discussions. We went in deep. Deeper than deep.
At first I was the aggressor. After all, I had it wrapped. My position was based on sound
logical and scientific “facts”. I had proof. All Sean had was “taboo”. Apparently. During these discussions I was surprised to learn however, that Sean had actually thought about religion and faith and God, and that after all these thoughts he still chose to believe. And over time my position began to soften.
Sean showed me that in the greater scheme of things, “good” is not subordinate to “logic”. What society neglects to tell you is that everything is sustained by faith. Even cornerstone beliefs such as mathematics and science are just a “best fit”. And that at the end of the day, if you’re ever going to truly know anything, you’re going to have to listen to your heart.
So the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from Sean, which I think is the core message of this book, is that you can only reason so far. The final step is always a leap of faith. Whatever path you choose to follow.
Comments from Readers
It's brilliant-clear, simple, TRUE! I love it.”
Sarah Jobling (Media Office - All Souls - Umhlali, SA)
"So many times I've wanted to put into words what I experienced or felt, but I could never find the words and would just choke up. While reading this book I felt a shock of recognition. That's it! That’s what I wanted to say!"
Emmanuelle de Boom (Youth worker - St J&P - The Hague, NL)
“It made me think, realise, smile, agree, cry (like really cry) and know for sure that God does love me!”
Paixao Serrao (George, SA)
“This little book was not at all what I had expected. It was so much more. This is an incredibly moving and personal story of one man’s faith and his encounters with God, ”
Gail Kruger (Editor - Reach Publishers, SA)
“I want everybody to read it!”
Mary Bentham (Hothouse leader - St J&P - The Hague, NL)
“It felt good to be reminded of God's love and how He's made that crystal clear in Jesus, though things seem complicated at times. This book is Christianity in a 'turtleshell' - I'd recommend it to anyone curious to hear a fresh, honest perspective on faith.”
Heidi Aho (Theology student - Cambrige University, UK)
“I loved it to bits. I loved the humour. It made me laugh out loud! The insights were wonderful. So whimsical and yet profound.”
Jenny Whitiing (St Martins Church - Durban North, SA)
“A thought-provoking book! I sat and read it in little chunks, which I took away to digest before going back for another 'mouthful'”
Rev. Rob Jobling (All Souls - Umhlali , SA)
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Reader Reviews for "My Simple Faith: And why some tortoises drive Ferraris"
|Reviewed by Pamela Dennett
|This book is far from simple...however in its simplicity it is beautifully honed to remove any doubt about the existence of God. It is a brave book by the author because he dared to bare his emotions, his soul to an unknown audience as he went through his own private journey to seek the ONE that he so long had believed in but was not sure why until challenged by a friend and refusing to hide behind tired cliches, set himself the task of finding God for himself. I hope that this book will be read by believers and non-believers alike but most of all by those who would like to believe but are still struggling with the whys and hows and whatever fors (which has applied to many of us in the past without us being able to put it so suscinctly. Thank you. (Pam Dennett, Uganda)