If you don’t feel like you’re about to jump off a cliff where death seems like a possible outcome – you are not at the precipice of a leap of faith – at least not yet anyway! It wouldn’t be a leap of faith if you knew the outcome. It’d just be a calculated decision… which is definitely not the same. Leaps of faith change the direction of your life, they are packed full of potential …and risk… and failure is definitely on the table! They are terrifying and exciting all at once and though I’ve done a few, they still feel the same. Here’s a few thoughts as you stand at the cliff’s edge and consider your leap.
Leaps of faith don’t start at the cliff’s edge. There’s actually a roller-coster that leads right up to that blunt edge of free-fall. The roller coaster starts slow, it’s a thought here, a thought there, a general unsettling, an internal searching and a deep longing that begins to get vocal about its not being fulfilled. (though you may not even be sure what that longing is yet.) It continues through a maze that winds you through searching the depths of your soul and the heart of God. It dips deep into the core of your purpose and challenges you to know the greater purpose within the person staring back at you in the mirror.
The call of the leap is quiet, yet confident within you. It tries on the cape of doubt and fear, but it never can keep it on, as the faith inevitably rises that just cannot bear the limits of that cape. It is insatiable and knows it needs to jump. There’s an internal hope that’s noisy and bouncy within your spirit – that when you think about it a thrill runs through your spine and your heart feels like it just might jump out of your chest. As you ponder it to yourself, it is the most exciting secret the world has never heard. Do you dare say it out loud? Who would you tell? Then the first click of the next phase of rollercoaster begins as the whisper of your heart finds volume and speech. The words come through your lips and you wonder what to do if the recipient of this secret disagrees – and while they rarely do – the roller-coaster moves to full speed.
The hope and dream has found its way to speech and therefore reality. The world was spoken into existence and that is exactly why as those words first fall clumsily out your mouth they create life and opportunity and a ticket to the leap of faith. With each confirmation they bring your toes to the edge. This is usually when it happens – an emotion, a feeling, a person, an employer, a situation arises and a soccer punch of fear takes the wind right out of your lungs. Reeling you think about how this could end badly, what you could lose, what it might cost you if it doesn’t work. Doubt comes in next for the upper-cut and you ask yourself, ‘what on earth was I thinking?’ Spinning and off balance you try to reconcile the vibrancy and life of the dream and the cold harshness of reality that tries to hold you back. It’s like quicksand on the top of the cliff; now you half want to jump and half want to give in to the sand and just sink. Would going back to where you were really be so bad?
This is where the decision is made and unmade. Welcome to the twilight zone! The only way out or through is prayer and friends. Like, really good, got-your-back kind of friends. The truth speakers, the heart knowers, the freedom fighters for your soul. You want to cry and shout, but what you really need to do is go to your knees. Block out all the noise and listen again to that still quiet voice. It doesn’t lie and it knows the truth and the timing. All manner of things can come at you, but this is where you decide. Will you leap in hope and faith for all you see purposed in front of you; or will you shrink back to the comfort of the known? It’s a defining moment and it’s a decision only you can make and only you can live with.
What will it be? I know for me, though I always reel at the blows of fear and doubt and though I always struggle to divorce myself from the comfortable ‘known’ and though my need to be responsible can sink me in that quicksand, with the help of God and my friends this is where I make what my ultimate decision always is:
What will your decision be?