It’s interesting to me how often events in the physical realm exemplify principals in the spiritual realm. My journey on the path of the Leap of Faith started on a canoe trip with my husband. The beauty of the White River and the countryside it flows through combine to make it a perfect setting for a float trip. About half way down the designated route, there is a large sand bar that serves as a picnic spot. We put in, found a spot among the throng of about forty people gathered there, and ate our lunch.
At this spot there is an old truss bridge that spans a deep section of the river. It’s a canoe trip rite of passage for those who float the White River to jump off the bridge into the river below. We watched as, one after another, people climbed over the railing and successfully jumped off the bridge into the water 25 feet below. I am not afraid of much, however, heights is one of my BIG fears.
I DON’T like being afraid. No decision I have ever made or action I have taken from fear has ever been a good one. So I take every opportunity I can to face my fears. A 25 foot drop is a good challenge, so we decided to give it a go. My husband jumped enthusiastically. I climbed tentatively over the railing, perched myself on the outside ledge of the bridge and prepared myself to jump. Unfortunately, I looked down. Instantly fear took over!
Try as I might, I could not move. I was stuck like a butterfly pinned to a display board. I couldn’t go forward and I couldn’t go back. The only thing my fear addled brain could determine for certain, was that I couldn’t stand there riveted to the railing forever. I either had to jump or climb back to safety. If I remained riveted there, I would eventually fall asleep and fall off the bridge. Admittedly not every leap is worth making; and I won’t argue the wisdom of getting up there. It does however illustrate what often happens when we step out on the Ledge of Faith.
Maybe you’re risking going for your dream job or giving up a secure job to pursue a calling with less pay but more purpose. Perhaps you’re going back to school at 50 to get or finish a college degree. It could be saying yes to a proposal even though you have failed at marriage in the past. It could be, being vulnerable enough to be seen without your protective facade and carefully crafted image, to risk being known and loved just as you are.
Whatever your ledge is, know that it will not come without fear. Remember the truly deep, inspirational question is NOT: “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” It is: “What would you risk doing even though you know you could fail?” Risk, by nature, involves the possibility of failure. Fear is a natural part of the equation. The key is in how you handle it. Do you let fear rule you, or do you allow faith to master fear? As for what happened on the bridge, that is a story for another day.
© Tamella White 2019