Is Faith all You Need?

Recently I attended a live stage production of “Miracle on 34th Street at our local theatre. If you haven’t seen it or even know about it, it is one of those feel-good movies that is one of my favorites at this time of year. The plot is simple, an elderly gentleman who goes by the name of Kris Kringle and has a remarkable resemblance to the  1931 Coca-Cola image that we are a custom to associating with, gets a job as the Macy’s Santa Claus.

I might be, actually probably will be stretching a little in the article. It’s okay to stretch, particularly out of your comfort zone. If I have caused a reaction or a ponder than that is what an article should do.

There are several key goals in the plot, but the main one is to convert two non-believers of Santa Claus into, of course, believing that there is such a person. By believing, you can then get what you ask for from Santa.

There are some apparent metaphors in the movie. Most recognizable is perhaps, believe, ask, and receive written in Matthew 7:7-8.

What does it take to produce a miracle on 34th street?

Now there are a couple of notable quotes in the movie that require attention. At least they caught my attention, and I want to bring them to your attention to answer that question.

Kris Kringle: “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind…and that’s what’s been changing. That’s why I’m glad I’m here, maybe I can do something about it.”

At this point, I could go off on a tangent over how Christmas has gone way over the board with its commercialism, getting the biggest and best and out doing the neighborhood families to the point of financial ruin, and I won’t. Instead, the words, frame of mind have a significant meaning here. To experience the “sprite of Christmas,” which is the giving and not the receiving, one needs to have the right frame of mind to produce that particular mood that will influence your attitude to give with no expectations for receiving.

Fred Gailey: “Look, Doris, someday you’re going to find that your way of facing this realistic world doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.”

Those intangibles, those things that are very real and do exist but can’t be physically possessed,  that Doris Walker keeps overlooking are the positive emotions, kindness, joy, and love. There are at least 60 emotions, and 21 of them are positive emotions, which would make another interesting article about why there are more negative emotions than positive ones. It makes you wonder.

Kris Kringle: “Now wait a minute, Susie. Just because every child can’t get his wish that doesn’t mean there isn’t a Santa Claus.”

Susan Walker: “You mean it’s like, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Kris explains that the main reason that many don’t get what they ask for is that the requests are unrealistic. Who in his right mind, except for me, would want a full-size steam locomotive? However, it does not mean that you should give up, and I did get my full-size steam locomotive many years ago – if at first, you don’t succeed, try again. (Yes, there is another story there.)

Persistence does pay off in the end. We would not have had the light bulb if Thomas Edison quite when he reached 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. That’s the problem with quitting, you just don’t know if you had just did it one more time, maybe that next time would be the moment of success. If you quit, the outcome is sealed.

To keep going requires faith.

 Doris Walker: “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”

What is faith?

The dictionary has two definitions. One it is as a complete trust or confidence in someone (and that someone could be you)or something and a strong belief in God or the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. To have faith in something means that you have to recognize that you have no control over the outcome. Whatever happens, happens. The results are out of your hands.

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” — Thomas Aquinas

Much like flying in a plane. We don’t do it well without faith. If we looked at many things we do in life, we do a lot of it on faith. If you are a leader in an organization, you would have faith in your staff to do the right things. If you only had hope that they would, I would suggest then that you might have some issues there.

Hope resides in the mind while faith lives in the heart and soul. It’s the driving force that pulls you through no matter what the situation or circumstance. Faith goes beyond the reasonableness, common sense, and the tangibles of cause and effect.

There is one more critical element and that is action. Action backed up with faith is the magic carpet that carries our dreams, wishes, and desires.

So to produce a Miracle on 34th Street, one only needs:

  1. To have the right frame of mind, one that is open to possibilities.
  2. To embrace those intangibles that encourage us to be charitable, generous, kind, joyful, and forgiving.
  3. To ask and that the ask has to tie to an intangible.
  4. To have faith, knowing that it now is your of your hands and whatever happens, happens.
  5. Take Action when presented with the possibility.

In the movie, Susan wants a house. Not just a house, actually a home. That home to her represented the possibility for a family (there is no dad in the picture), love, and joy.

Here is a clip of the end of the movie.

I don’t pretend that what the film represents is all that it takes to produce miracles in your life. Some people and families are so deep into their circumstances that to suggest that all they need is a little faith, and all will be okay, is irresponsible of me. The film does suggest that a mind shift does have to occur, an internal change, not an environmental change. There is also some clear actionable steps that need to take place too.

I do suggestion that your results are based in the Ladder of Inference (how you make decisions) and the conclusions you made about yourself, others, and life in general. In previous articles I go into an explanation into that. Here is the link to the first one, where I introduce this Ladder.

To have awareness and understanding of how you got to where you are at now, are the first steps towards a meaningful change in your life. Knowing exactly, with detail, what you want is the second step. What you say you want and what you are wanting can be and are often two different things. (Hint: You always get what you intend). The final step is developing a real action plan with the end in mind.

To that end, I have developed and offering a workshop in early January to help you get started in 2020, to make those desired changes do that you can get the results you want,  and 2020 is not a repeat of 2019.

Within you is the power for that change. I have faith in you that you will be able to do it. This is not a positive thinking or affirmation workshop but real work, done in real-time.

Thinking and analyzing only causes you to procrastinate. Act now and join me in January. Spots are limited.

Please feel free to comment and share this article. By doing so, you are supporting me in continue to provide thoughtful content.


RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences , understanding and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure and guiding others on their own journey of self-discovery and personal effectiveness.

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Article References:
The Top 14 ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Quotes. https://www.thoughtco.com/miracle-on-34th-street-quotes-2831832
Looking for God. https://www.lookingforgod.com/questions-and-answers/category/22/question/1298/

2 thoughts on “Is Faith all You Need?

  1. First, I love your brilliant explanation of the difference between Hope and Faith. I’ve always thought Hope was a bit wishy-washy, but wasn’t sure why I felt that way….aahhh! NOW I see!
    Secondly, I would suggest that while we certainly have more WORDS for negative emotions, there are just as many positive feelings as there are negative ones. 🙂
    A very Uplifting, Enjoyable, Amusing, Intriguing, Enlightening, Delightful, Fun, Interesting, Pleasing, etc., post, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

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