The Amplitude of our Faith

am·pli·tude      [ˈampləˌt(y)o͞od]


1.the breadth, range, or magnitude of something. 2.The maximum extent of an oscillation of something measured from the position of equilibrium.


I love language. Words have such far-reaching and extravagant power that I think we sometimes take it for granted. We miss out on the true power of the words we speak and what they can do to people. Words have the potential to bring light to a dark place, to explain things that are difficult to put together, or to stir people to action. I have been accused in the past of sometimes using a hundred words when just five would do to explain or answer something. I like words and I feel that oftentimes we settle for a fifty-cent word that barely covers something when there are words within our lexicon that would have far more power and far greater illustrative weight when discussing ideas or actions.


In math, the idea of amplitude is a specific measurement of the maximum range of something. This would be the highest and lowest value in a range of integers. In auditory senses, the amplitude of a speech would be the maximum difference in volume from the loudest spoken word to the softest whisper. Amplitude is what gives relevance and definition to how wide a range is; it serves to provide a more concrete way to see how high the highs truly are when compared with how low the lows are as well. Something with extremely low amplitude has little power.


If you truly want to understand amplitude, talk to a surfer. Surfers really understand amplitude. In surfing, the amplitude of the surf is a way to determine how high the waves are. The taller the waves the greater the potential energy when they are in motion. Small waves have little power and the surfer, who is there to ride waves, will have nothing to do with them. The surfer and his board will not get to fulfill their purpose for being in the water. Amplitude gives power. When the wave amplitude is ramped up, there are tall and powerful waves that have incredible energy to propel the surfer toward the shore and brings light to the true purpose for the design of the board. With great amplitude, surfing is plunging down fast moving walls of water as high as tall buildings while performing tricks and feats of balance that are awe-inspiring. Without amplitude, surfing is just floating in some water. See the difference?


In our lives, there is abounding amplitude. From the day of the birth of your child to the day of the death of a family member, there are massive emotional swings and changes in our lives. Huge peaks and valleys that can affect our attitude, our behaviors, our mental and emotional status and well-being. Without the peaks and valleys of our lives, we are like that surfer on his board in a flat sea…. Just bobbing around not doing much and certainly not fulfilling our purpose or potential. God uses the amplitude of our lives to propel us to the purposes He has for us. To prepare us for situations and events that we would be unable to understand or cope with if we had never experienced these things in our lives. All the amplitude in your life has specific purpose and a plan that He has put in place for you.


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