In the 1991 #1 hit song by Lionel Cartwright, “Take a Leap of Faith,” the songwriter offers his view of how to get through all of challenges we face in this complex and confusing society. That song has been embedded in my heart ever since it’s original release. Although the songs lyrics are written to describe a young couple relying on faith when struggling to make a life changing decision about marriage, each and every word can be put to practice in our everyday lives.
Leap of Faith
Whether you are struggling in life, with your spouse, your partner, your children, a co-worker or a friend, sometimes we tend to try and solve our own problems instead of taking that leap of faith and turning it all over to God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
However, as simple and profound as this may seem, we continue to hesitate. We continue to fear. We continue to spend more time calculating the risks of taking that leap of faith rather than leaping at all. In Cartwright’s opening lyrics he sings it this way….
“You want a no-risk guarantee
before you take a chance,
You want to know how the song will end,
before you start to dance…”
Why is it so? Although children have fears and anxiety in their daily adventures, they are, time and time again, more apt to take a chance, or that leap of faith, than adults. As I look back at my childhood, I smile when I think of all the risks I took, never knowing how it would turn out. Sure, some of those experiences resulted in pain or didn’t exactly turn out the way I wanted, but I took that leap of faith. As we grow and experience earthly failures however, we become conditioned to be more and more apprehensive when faced with taking that next leap of faith! Of course, some conditional behaviors are natural and healthy for us as without them we might continue to touch that hot stove, pour gasoline on a fire, or as I did one and only one time, jump out of a speeding boat at 35 miles an hour! If you are like me, you chalk those up and call it wisdom, experiences, and knowledge.
As we maneuver through our short time here on earth, we will continue to face struggles, obstacles, and even sometimes, complete failure. It is through these experiences where we become less and less willing to take that leap of faith. We start looking for that “no-risk guarantee” or want to know exactly how the situation will turn out before we are willing to move forward.
We know this all too well. A compass, something I was introduced to in my youth is a powerful tool. And that compass, every time will point true north from where you might be standing, but has no advice on the road blocks, the mountains, or rivers you will have to endure. You take that compass and plunge ahead ignoring those challenges, only finding later that if you would have had a road map, studied the course, planned ahead, and understood all of your possible escape routes, your journey would have been so much easier. You wouldn’t have wasted valuable time, you wouldn’t have endured hardship, freezing temperatures, financial losses, or in some cases, even becoming lost forever. We train ourselves to never do that again. We learn from these hardships and tell ourselves, “Next time I will do a better job of planning before I begin my journey.”
Don’t be mistaken, planning and seeking knowledge is critical to success, but we cannot let ourselves become overburdened to the point that it causes us to live our lives in constant anxiety. What would our lives be without those obstacles? Those obstacles and challenges become our stepping-stones for success. And that success may not look anything like what we imagined, but rather exactly how God planned it to be. As in our song and even more powerfully, as promised by God, we must find trust and rely on faith. Our song says it this way:
“Trust in me,
like I trust in you
There is no rain or fire
that we can’t get through”
Starting today, and every time you are faced in making a decision, rely on your faith when fear is staring you in your face. Trust in Him (your Lord Almighty) as He trusts in you and take that leap of faith!
“And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can endure. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” – 1 Corinthians 10:13