“Take a leap of faith”– much easier said than done. The image of jumping from point to the next, not sure how or where you’ll land is nerve-wracking when you think about the mechanics of it. Stepping into the unknown means stepping out of where you feel most safe and secure, putting yourself in the face of new situations and unexpected challenges. But not leaving your comfort zone has its own consequences–fewer opportunities to grow or ways to expand your horizons.
Here at Verso, we believe that experiencing new things can help us grow as whole people–soul, mind, and body. But we know that tourism and pilgrimage are two different things. When we say “take a leap of faith,” we envision the motion as a kind of pilgrimage, no matter what kind of travel you’re doing–even if it’s metaphorical. And for us, pilgrimage means preparation and reflection–ideas that you can carry with you as you make important decisions.
Here are two things to think about when you’re about to take a leap of faith, big or small:
Know Where You’re Leaping From
So often when we think of a leap of faith we imagine what we’ll land in–the unexpected, the exciting, the nerve-wracking. What we don’t consider is the other half of the leap–where are you starting? Where are you leaping from?
Having a solid footing of beliefs you understand and a community you value gives you the ability to launch yourself further into the unknown, to dive deeper into what waits for you on the other side.
At Verso, our starting point–the rock we stand on–is our belief in a God who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to suffer and die for us. Starting from that belief, we can walk with great faith that God has good things in store for us.
Know What You’re Leaping Into
This is different from knowing where you’re landing–knowing what you’re leaping into means understanding the possibilities of your landing place. You might not be able to have a clear image in mind, and it wouldn’t really be a leap of faith if you could predict things accurately.
Taking the time to think about what you’re jumping into can make the leap itself easier–it might even make it easier to make the jump. Preparing beforehand doesn’t make a leap of faith any less impressive. No matter how much you prepare, there are always things that you couldn’t have predicted, things that will challenge you, and things that will unexpectedly delight you. The effort of preparation doesn’t always take away from the importance of the leap, either–preparing for something and doing it are two very different things.
There’s a poem by St. John Henry Newman that describes the beauty of a leap of faith beautifully. The first stanza reads:
Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home —
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, — one step enough for me.
St. John Henry Newman, pray for us as we leap into the unknown. Help us to trust, as you did, that Christ the Light will guide our feet and bring us closer to him.
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