I’ve heard repeated many times the part of the Bible that says that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. The actual words from the Bible are much more poetic than my rough recounting of the quote. But I’ve always liked the notion that a mustard seed size of faith is all I need. I’m not religious, meaning I don’t consult the Bible for everyday help, but growing up going to a church with my mom must have spawned deep within me a certain kind of faith.
But when I think about a grain of salt, I wonder if its larger size would have a commensurate affect on faith and moving mountains. If I had faith the size of a grain of salt, what could I move (out of my way)? The obstacles created in my own head are the big ones. Small ones are things like a broken down car or an angry friend, and those are fixable with a phone call or a cup of coffee.
But the big hurdles. Actually they are not, now that I visualize them, objects outside of me. They are massive blocks that somehow fit inside my petite frame. And thus I need faith that I can boot them out. And I’m willing to try to have faith the size of a grain of salt.
Usually a grain of salt is a dismissive idea. “Take that with a grain of salt.” That’s the opposite of faith, instead a mere short-lived suspension of belief. But I want to take a grain of salt as a real element. Not an indicator of what can be dismissed. “Here I’m telling you this grand tale of someone’s success or failure, but…don’t believe it. Take that with a grain of salt.” Skeptical. Gently disbelieving.
I’ve invented a new idea for that tiny white speck that lights up dull pasta sauce and corrects bland black beans. Salt. It can completely change a dish. And so I like the idea that faith the size of a grain of salt can also light up my life, correct it. And especially the notion that all it takes is a grain of salt to pivot. To move that mountain.
So if belief the size of a mustard seed isn’t strong enough, perhaps I will switch to salt.