I stood frozen in fear, 25 feet above the river, arguing with myself about what to do. I could climb back over the railing and try to sneak, unnoticed, back to my picnic spot. That could result in falling backward off the bridge. I could jump. After all that is what I had come up here to do. Unfortunately, I had looked down. As a result, my body was not on board with that plan. I briefly toyed with remaining fixed to the railing. While my body was on board with this, my brain knew it was unrealistic. In the end I came to the conclusion I had to let go of the railing one way or another.
I say conclusion because this was not a decision. Making a decision implies that I had settled on a course of action. The realization that I had to let go of the railing was far from a decision to either climb back over or to jump. It was merely a concession that doing something was better than doing nothing. I let go of the railing and stepped tentatively out over the edge. As soon as I shifted my weight doubt screamed out;
“STOP!! YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS!!”
It’s called the law of gravity for a reason. It’s not a suggestion or something that can be suspended because you have thought better of testing its dynamic properties. It’s a LAW! Once you traverse the line between the edge and what lies beyond, there is no going back. The momentary doubt that caused my brain to scream its objection to the action my body was taking meant that I fell off the bridge rather than jumping. Make no mistake, there is a distinct difference. The most important difference, is the quality of the landing.
Taking a risk in a state ruled by fear and doubt is ALWAYS a recipe for trouble. Fear leads to doubt. Doubt steals our confidence and conviction, and strips away our faith. In addition, acting in a state ruled by doubt limits our options when we do take action. This rarely ends well. If we take a leap of faith in a state ruled by fear and doubt, the only thing we can do is curl up in a ball and hope the landing doesn’t hurt too much. The intense pain that burst through my body as I hit the water reminded me just how destructive fear and doubt can be.
The same holds true for matters of faith. Whatever motivates our decision, be it determination or desperation, we should never underestimate the gravity of taking a leap of faith. Doubt and fear are enemies we must face and overcome. Stepping out in faith with doubt in our hearts may lead to a hesitancy that prevents us from fully committing. That hesitancy can cause us to fall out of control and miss the landing God has prepared for us. Whatever we are believing for, taking a leap of faith is not something that can be done halfheartedly or half way. When it comes to a leap of faith, the Law of gravity dictates that we do it with 100% commitment and conviction. Once our feet leave that edge there is no going back. Second guessing ourselves in mid-air can have very painful consequences.
© Tamella White 2019