Since ancient times, many cultures have their own tests or rites of passage to test one’s strength, courage and readiness to be an adult. Other cultures make it a test of their faith. The tests are usually dangerous and sometimes life threatening like involving knives, rocks, cliffs, fire or whatever. Children are trained for these tasks so as to prepare them for adulthood.
Things seemed simpler back then.
I don’t know why courage, strength or faith needs to be tested in such a way when real life offers an even bigger challenge. Probably their times offered lesser challenges and there seemed to be a need to prove oneself worthy of being an adult. Nowadays, the rites of passages do not assure one of being a real adult. Things have become so complicated that even if we have survived these rites, there is still a chance that we end up losing or unsuccessful. These rites of passages have become tourist attractions to the ignorant many.
Again, things may seem simpler back then.
While rites of passages may be seen as passé in this era, one’s faith, strength, and courage is still tested on a day to day basis. Our problems and issues in life could allude to some of the rites our ancestors have devised and are still practicing. Sometimes it’s like swallowing swords or cutting of flesh. Other times, it’s like walking along a thin wire or sleeping in a bed of nails. Still at other times, it’s also like walking on fire or surviving overnight in the woods. While these may seem death defying, nothing’s as death defying as walking in a stream or jumping from a cliff. In all instances, we need to learn to walk in faith or to jump in faith.
Walking in faith is like walking in a rocky waist deep murky river. You cannot see the bottom but you can feel the rocks. Each rock is different from the other. Some are smooth and slippery, others are sharp and pointy. You know the destination. You can see it yonder. Yet at each step you hope to God that you won’t step on a slippery rock and hit your head or you won’t pierce your heel by the sharp rocks. You have no choice but to exercise your trust in the Creator, the one who made all these rocks and the river you are crossing because only He knows the path you are going. Only He knows the safe way.
Similarly in life, we cannot see where we are heading. We can only assume the way, but we cannot see the rocks jutting from below or if the path we are taking is slippery and risky. We can only predict and have a feel of each step in the same manner that our feet could only grope and feel the rocks below. We could not be so sure of each step so we need every ounce of faith.
Jumping in faith is the same. It is like climbing a cliff and falling backwards hoping to God that the person at the bottom can catch you or that the water is deep enough to catch you or that there are no rocks at the bottom to hit you. It’s those moments when you cannot ask questions, you just jump and take the plunge with full trust that the person who told you to jump knows what he or she is doing.
In life there are decisions that happen at the spur of the moment. The only question is would you jump? Would you take the plunge? The risk is always there but it does take a lot of faith to leap and find that the landing point is sure and secure. Moreover, the leap would be more secure if the one who asked you to jump is God himself.
Let us strive to learn to walk and fall. The Master is ready to guide and catch us anytime we’re ready.