At all times a question lies before us: “Will I stay put, or will I journey forward?”
Sometimes we find ourselves in a meadow. A soft, comfortable, safe meadow. It's natural to want to remain in the security of these meadows.
“Why go climb that mountain ahead, when I am just fine and comfortable here?” one might ask.
It can be easy to convince ourselves that this is the right place for us to be. Yet, as beautiful as the meadow is, there is so much more. We didn’t come to stay put, but to journey forward, into the unknown.
Really, there is only one real decision we are called to make in life. To surrender our lives to God and answer the call of The Divine, or not. Once we have made that decision, I believe things become easier, and a lot more clear. You can take the story of Christ for example. His one motive was to do the will of his Father. He lived that decision. And because he made that choice, there was no other choice for him to make. He just kept moving forward, listening. Following. In the wisdom of his Father, he was eventually guided even to the depths of hell, and went willingly because of the fullness of trust he had in the guidance he received. And because of that trust and great act of surrender, he came out victorious, ascending to the heights of heaven, and realizing his true destiny.
Whether or not you believe in his story, some powerful truths are being taught here. Something profound happens when we take The Great Leap Into The Unknown (as I like to call it). It changes us. It forms us into something new. Something greater than we were before. Is it easy? Usually, no. Sometimes, when the call arrives, it’s the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do. Isn’t that why we are here though? To discover the depths of who we are and what we are capable of? Isn’t this what makes The Great Unknown so thrilling and adventurous?
But how do we give our life over to someone or something we don’t know how to trust? Don’t yet really even know? We can’t. We must know our God. Or else, how are we ever gonna develop enough trust to hand our lives over to Him?
I believe that’s all we really need to know. If I can know him, know of his goodness, his power, and his ability to lead me back home to him, then I don’t need to understand the “whys”, “hows”, or “whens”. All I need to do is take the next step forward, into the unknown. I believe this is the space we’re always meant to be in with God. Ready to leap. And what I’ve come to learn is that it's not so much about what you’re leaping into, but the leap itself. The trust fall. It is here, that we find our wings. It is here, that we learn to fly.
That fear, when you’re peering over the edge, and you know something big is coming, that change is on the horizon, we must know that fear in order to know our courage. And you are so much more courageous than you think.
Now when I feel the call to do something hard, I remember what decision I’m truly making. A life led by God, or a life of “comfort”, never tasting the adventure of The Unknown or knowing what I am truly capable of. I have experienced the consequence of ignoring The Call. I know the pain of not living my true calling and surrendering my life to God. I’ve tasted that emptiness enough to know I never want to go back. It doesn’t matter how much we drink from the well of pleasures and comforts, if that is all we drink, the deepest parts of ourselves will always be thirsty. And that beautiful, comfortable meadow? After some time, it won’t seem so beautiful anymore. In fact, you’ll start to resent it. We were created to journey forward. Our true nature wants to be led.
There is a voice, which calls to us at all times. Some days it feels louder than others. Other days it feels impossible to hear. Yet, it cannot be completely shut out. As much as we might try to ignore it sometimes, deep down, you know it’s there, calling to you. It calls us forward. It calls us upward. It calls us to remembrance. A remembrance that this isn’t our true home. We are simply just passing through. Each of us, we’re on a journey. And there’s One who’s leading us along. And as hard as it may be sometimes to keep moving forward, we can find comfort when we know that The One Who Leads is 100% committed to our success and ringing out every last drop of unhappiness from us. And He is mighty to do so.
Sometimes the leaps of trust we’re called to make feel bigger. Like a big move, a new job, or perhaps a new relationship. Sometimes, they may appear smaller, yet are just as noble. Sometimes that noble leap we are called to take is getting out of bed again this morning, trusting that it will get easier one day.
Like the baby bird’s first flight out of the nest, our initial leaps will surely terrify us. But after some practice and experience, we learn how to use our wings. And we will discover the truth that when we fall, God will always catch us. The outcome may not be as expected, it may not be what we wanted. But over time, we will see that there is wisdom in the mysterious unfolding of our lives. There is purpose in ALL circumstances we encounter. And slowly but surely, you will learn to trust the arms of the One who calls you to leap into them. And you will learn to trust in your wings. Until one day, it won’t seem so scary to jump. You’ll feel the fear, and recognize it only as a messenger assuring you that something very important is about to happen. You might even find a thrill in fear itself, for you know that fear always precedes the flight.
What follows is a poem written in the yearnings of my heart as I stood at a crossroads in my life. I heard The Call, I felt it deep in my bones, and it terrified me. But what terrified me more, was choosing the path of comfort. A path, though enticing in its familiarity and safety, simultaneously threatened with stagnancy and regret. There is more available to us. More experience, more depth, more understanding. But we must choose it. We must leave the security of our nests to discover it. It is there, waiting to greet you.
The Place Beyond The River
There is a path
That I must follow
I know not where it goes
I cannot stay here
There is a place
Beyond the river
A place prepared for me
At its gate
A price to pay
Sweet comforts of a life past known
I know not much
I must find the One who calls my name
I wonder if
The Great Unknown
Longs to be known
Just as much
As I long to know it