Hornswaggled. That's what those old western chaps used to call getting into something that you didn't want to get into but you didn't really have a choice. My Catholic friend argues that he was Hornswaggled into "getting Saved" at a Protestant Church.
"Yeah, I was visiting a protestant church with a friend. The invitation rolled around and the preacher asked us to close our eyes and then told us if we wanted to go to Heaven instead of Hell then we had to ask Jesus in our hearts. Then he asked us to 'pray this prayer' with him if you didn't want to burn eternally. So I did. Then he asked us to raise our hand if we prayed it, with every head bowed and every eye closed. So I raised my hand, after I had prayed the get-out-of-hell-free prayer. Then he told us to open our eyes and to seal the deal we had to go down front. Hornswaggled I tell you."
Well something like that story took place and I was 'elected' to be Santa. I knew something was up when Amber's cousin began circling my recliner like an old buzzard. He waited for my mouth to open ever-so-slightly as I began my dozing and went in for the kill.
"Hey, how would you like to make a bunch of kids laugh and be happy this year?"
"I'd love to." Says I, half asleep from the Sedative in the turkey, now coursing through my sleepy veins and caressing my eyelids into a peaceful half-mast. With those three words floating from my mouth like a Sunday morning comic caption, I knew I had signed the papers. Santa had come to my Chimney and there was no closing the flue to prevent his big butt from invasion. Faust was to Devil as Seth was to Cousin of Amber.
It was actually pretty darn cool. I have never been in that position before. A place where a 3 year old boy thought I could actually work a miracle. He kept patting his chest and in an excited voice he kept repeating "Me Spider...Me Spider... Web."
He believed with all of his heart that I could give him the ability to shoot spider webs out of his wrist. I almost said "little fella, if I could do that, do you think I'd be flying down-wind of a bunch of reindeer butts every year? I'd be swinging skyscraper to skyscraper my-tubbybutt-self"
But then I started thinking how I wished I had that kind of faith in God about other things. There was no suspended disbelief, no disbelief, only belief in this little guy. The belief was so great in him that I almost believed that I could do it myself.
No wonder The Lord said we should imitate their faith.
It's weird that I had to be Hornswaggled into dressing up like Santa and be reminded, or rather introduced to that kind of faith by a cute little 3 year old who wanted to be Spider man.
At my best I have a tiny portion of that faith.