Belief, according to the American Heritage College dictionary, is the mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality or validity of something. Faith is defined as belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. Hebrews 11 in the King James Version of the Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and by faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

This is important because I am constantly amazed at the number of persons in the Austin community who fail to believe this community can have better schools, improve the business districts, obtain employment for the unemployed and generally improve the condition of each Austin resident. The sad reality is that too many persons have faith in a higher power and not in man.

This spiritual limitation is not restricted to the average citizen. It can also be found in politicians, ministers, business persons and community leaders. It is clear that still too many leaders in Austin believe that nothing will happen unless the mayor or some other person allows it to happen?”totally negating the positive influence of faith.

This must be turned around if Austin, as a community of people, is to achieve the vision of being a better more prosperous place in which to live. This lack of faith is also why Austin residents continue to elect cowards to political office and support dysfunctional men and women in positions of authority in the schools, parks and the department of streets and sanitation.

R. Kelly wrote, “I used to think that I could not go on and life was nothing but an awful song, but now I know the meaning of true love, I am leaning on the everlasting arms. If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.” The King James Version of the Bible says it another way?”that all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed; then all things are possible.

That faith must rest in the source of everything, not some alderman, mayor, preacher or other community leader. To break the debilitating cycle that currently grips this community and to free the generations to come, individuals must turn away from the weak with their myopic view of the world and tap into the unending power that is there for those who are willing to lift their heads up and walk in faith.

Once you start leaning on the “everlasting arms,” your faith will provide the courage needed to take the bold steps required to improve your block club, the local school, and demand accountability from those you pay to serve and protect the community.

However, once you step out on faith, you’ll recognize that the asses will have to be left behind. They are the ineffective leaders, your drug-dealing friends, that dysfunctional husband, gossiping wife and troublesome child.

Kelly also said in his song, “There are miracles in life I must achieve, but first I know it starts inside of me.” Each person has to go through a personal metamorphosis if they are to break free of the doubting, despair and sense of hopelessness.

Isn’t it time for Austin residents to spread their wings and fly away to a different place in the mind where they can focus their energy on creating a new and stronger community?