BEECH MOUNTAIN, NC: February 1975—
“Daddy, do you really think I can ski?” I said as I weighed the risks of downhill skiing.
My father put his arm around me and said, “I know you can.”
“But what if I fall?”
“Oh, you’re gonna fall,” he said, nodding decisively.
“Will it hurt?”
“Falling might hurt, but trust me: I wouldn’t have brought you here, if you couldn’t do it. You may fall and hurt and have to get up again, but one day, you’ll be glad you did it.”
The next morning, I stood at the top of the mountain, frozen with fear, looking down at the ski lodge far below thinking, “Help! What if Daddy’s wrong?”
My heart pounded. My legs shook. My teeth chattered. But then I remembered my father’s words: “I wouldn’t have brought you here, if you couldn’t do it. One day you’ll be glad you did it.”
So, I took a deep breath, lined up my skis and went ooooover the edge.
And yep, you guessed it—I wiped out. Bigtime.
One leg was twisted in an unnatural direction. My head felt like someone had hit it with a hammer. My ears were full of snow and my lungs devoid of air. Slowly, I got up and tried again.
And bam. Another hard fall.
I could feel a big bruise forming on my backside and an even larger one on my pride.
Were people laughing at me?
This was not fun. Not worth the pain . . .
I got back up angrily, determined to get down the slope, but soon, I tumbled headlong, again.
This continued until finally, I learned the key: the best way to get there is not in a straight line. No, the slope requires zigs and zags, stops and starts, and the faith to get up and try again.
So I kept at it and by the end of the week, I was flying down that slope with the wind in my hair and the thrill of adventure in my heart.
Even though falling hurt, I’m glad I took the leap. Because the leap is where you learn. It’s how you grow. A good leap makes you feel fully alive. And the leaps of faith you choose to take now can affect your life for years to come . . .
TELLURIDE MOUNTAIN, CO: February 2021—
I stood on top of the slope, thousands of feet in the air, trying to see the base far, far, below.
The run was named “Plunge.” (That pretty much sums it up)
Little balls of snow tumbled past me, pulled along by sheer gravity.
I took a deep breath, lined up my skis and pushed ooooover the edge.
Somehow, I zigged and zagged down the steep slope until I finally reached the bottom. It wasn’t pretty. My muscles were on fire. I was exhausted, but totally exhilarated.
Because I took a leap of faith way back in 1975, I’m now a bona fide senior citizen of the ski world who went over the edge and took the “Plunge” (ha–not every Alabamian can claim that). Although I learned to ski wearing camo, frozen bell-bottom jeans and no helmet, somehow I’m still skiing, 47 years later.
Yes, I’ve experienced some ugly wipeouts, but I’ve also experienced decades of incredible joy. My dad was right: I’m glad I took the leap.
Now this isn’t a story just about me.
I have a feeling it might also be about you.
Perhaps your heavenly Father is calling you to take a leap of faith in 2022.
Maybe it’s starting a new business, going back to school, moving or writing a book. Possibly your leap involves facing illness, or parenthood, or an empty nest. Your leap of faith might be tutoring children, or forgiving your spouse, or learning to love a hard-to-love person this year.
While leaps of faith look different for everyone, they all involve risk. If you leap, you could stumble, fall, or totally wipe out.
Or you just might . . . fly.
I think you should take a leap oooover the edge this year. Here’s why:
3 reasons why you should take a leap of faith in 2022
1. You’re appointed to leap.
Now that I’m older, I feel more risk-adverse. I tend to go for what’s comfortable. Stick to what’s familiar and easy. Play it safe.
I don’t think I’m alone.
But I know our Father doesn’t want me (or you) to live like that.
Nope, God calls each of His children to take leaps of faith. He called:
Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water.
Ruth to move to a country she’d never seen before.
David to face the giant.
Esther to risk her life for the sake of her people.
Me to sit down and write this post, even though this one didn’t come easy.
What leap of faith is God calling you to take?
Don’t let fear stop you. Worrying about what might happen will keep your feet tied to the ground.
The Bible says, “fear not,” 365 times. That’s a “fear not” for every day of the year, including today.
Fear not, because fear will only lead you to sit down and shut up and give up. Your year was made for so much more. If the leap scares you, then leap scared. If you fall, get up and try again. Zig and zag until you work your way there.
Refuse to fear the worst, so you can enjoy God’s best in 2022.
Remember God’s promise:
“I am the Lord your God, the one who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’” Is. 43:13
Don’t waste this year on fear, make it count. Now is the time—take the LEAP.
2. You’re anointed for the leap.
God doesn’t lead you to a mountain He hasn’t anointed you for.
If you’re a child of God, the power that created the world lives inside of you. This power is mighty. It can enable you to do far more than you think you can. You’re anointed with the Spirit of God not just for easy cruising, but also for the times when the path is bumpy and steep.
You’re anointed with power to:
• rise above a painful past.
• zig & zag down the steep slope of MS, or cancer, or diabetes.
• plow through a mountain of debt.
• get up again after a crashed marriage.
• navigate through dips of depression and moguls of misery.
King David had the same experience. Consider what he wrote in Psalm 18:
“With my God I can charge into battle; with my God I can leap over a wall . . .”
“He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.” Ps. 18:29, 33
God has anointed you with the power to do much good in 2022—take the LEAP!
3. You’ll be glad you leaped.
God doesn’t waste a single leap of faith. Each leap He calls you to take has value, not only for you, but for others, too. Your leap not only affects lives today, but it can affect lives for years to come. You may never fully know all that your leap means.
So get out there and teach that class, reconcile with a friend, make your move, serve the homeless, write that blog.
If you stick with what you’ve always done this year, then nothing will change. But if you’re willing to change things up, you will learn and grow. And one day, when you finally see the positive impact of your leap, it’ll feel awesome (or “better’n snuff,” as my granny used to say)
Here’s a few inspiring leap quotes to get you going:
“The Christian life is a dancing, leaping, daring life.” Eugene Petersen
“Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown.” Brian Tracy
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“For we walk [or leap] by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7
Maybe you’re standing on top of life’s mountain right now, looking over 2022’s edge, wondering if you should take a leap of faith. Perhaps you’ve never been here before. Maybe you’re wondering if you have what it takes. Is the slope too steep? Is the risk too great?
Truth is, you may fall. The leap will require energy, risk and the faith to get up and try again.
But I wonder . . . could God be saying this to you?
“I would not have brought you here, if you couldn’t do it. Yes you may fall and hurt and have to get up again, but child—take the LEAP! One day, you’ll be glad you did.”
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