I don’t mind heights; I really don’t. It’s the sensation of falling that I’m not too keen on. We took the youth group kids to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City and one of the other leaders convinced me to go on one of the big roller coasters with her. As the attendant buckled us in, my friend turns to me with the sagacious advice that, once we get to the top of the first drop off, if I hold my breath and tighten my stomach muscles, I would be less likely to vomit…
It was most definitively “not fun”.
It was, in fact, ninety seconds of sheer bone-wrenching terror, as I white-knuckled the restraining bar and buried my face into my friend’s shoulder while she laughed and screamed for me to open my eyes. No thanks. I didn’t need to see what was coming at me around the next corner over which I had no control.
Another youth group trip (glutton for punishment as I am) took us to a high and low “obs” course. Because of my personal aversion to falling, I decided to force myself to do the Leap of Faith—thirty feet up a slender pole, standing upright on the top and catapulting my 6-foot frame to catch a bar several feet out. Tethered, of course, but that’s beside the point.
I loved the midway as a child, but as I’ve gotten older, not so much. On any ride, there’s always been some sort of protective device, and although it did not completely mitigate the abject panic, in every case I was in fact being protected. And despite my emotional (and sometimes gastrointestinal) objections to what I was feeling, I had some sense of faith in the process.
Forgive the somewhat obvious segway:
The Christian must at times make leaps of faith, but there are no blind leaps of faith with God. When God told Abram to leave his home and move to a land he never knew about, Abram could do that because he knew Who was calling the shots. In other words, Abram didn’t know what was around the next bend, but he knew Who was taking him there.
Life is jarring, like a roller coaster, and we don’t know what’s around the next bend. Sometimes it’s easier to bury our heads and just hang on for dear life. Faith, on the other hand, sometimes necessitates a leap, only it’s never meant to be a blind leap. We see the eventual goal, and we are tethered in with those Everlasting Arm beneath us.
Those who say that trust in Jesus is like a blind leap of faith do not know the Jesus I know.
And those who do know Him, but insist on walking blindly through life, have a lazy and dangerous faith. Too lazy for disciplined relationship, and dangerous to themselves AND to others (because my relationship with Him isn’t just about “me”.)
“That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
So I’ll jump, since I know Who’s holding the harness.
2 Timothy 1:12New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.