A STEP OF FAITH OFTEN BEGINS WITH A LEAP
The smallest thing can change your life. In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance (or faith or intention) when you least expect it, sets you on a course you never planned into a future you never imagined. Where will it take you? That’s the journey of our lives, our search for the light, but sometimes finding the light means you must pass through the deepest darkness. –( The Lucky One). Several years ago, I attended a leadership retreat for the purpose of team building, yet now as I look back on what I learned through that experience, I have discovered some even more important life lessons I had gained through those days in the mountains.
One of the activities we participated in was the “trust jump.” Harnessed, safety-roped and held by a fellow worker, we were instructed to climb up a pole to a small platform barely large enough to place your feet. From there we were told to leap off and grab onto a trapeze bar dangling just out of reach which would demonstrate our “trust” in the instructor, rope, apparatus and co-worker.
Even though the bar was only a couple of feet from my outstretched arms, standing precariously on that shelf twenty feet in the air seemed as if I was miles away. I can still remember the fear, doubt and indecision I had in not knowing if I would be able to jump far enough, if my hands would be able to grab hold of that cold steel bar, if I would have the strength in my arms to keep myself from falling, if the safety rope would be able to catch me should I miss or if my co-worker would let go in retaliation of some past disagreement.
These thoughts and uncertainties are not much different from those I sometimes face each day in my life and with my dreams today. I feel like I’m on a fairly firm “ledge” in life, albeit precarious at times. I have the saving grace of God, incredible family and friends, and amazing opportunities, yet despite that foundational stability and a history of past “leaps” resulting in fruitful endeavors, I still struggle with letting go and stepping off at times.“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
This verse alone should be enough for any of us to trust our desires and dreams to the Lord. Most of us would whole-heartily acknowledge He has our best interest in mind and knows the plans He has for us. However, when it comes to jumping off of our (somewhat comfortable) perch or letting go of our (safety) rope, many of us wait until we are assured of the next step and can visibly see (or hold) that next rein before letting go, oftentimes too late (and missing that opportunity).
Our actions become based more upon calculated, self-determined moves rather than faith in His plan and taking intentional steps towards it. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). This verse is one of the most prayed passages in the Bible. Some of us pray it at meals, sing the lyrics at church, or recite it before competition. Even many “non-believers” know the words verbatim as a result of their catechism upbringing.
However, most of the time when I hear this passage recited, it is done in a solemn, monotone, almost “Eeyore-style,” downplaying or silencing our voices on the word “thy.” It has become a verse some of us have grown to “neglect” or (unintentionally) “reinterpret” over the years.
Written By Dr. Lewis Akpogena