Tag Archives: Growing in faith

Jumping Off a 7-Story Building

I would not say I am a risk-taker, but I did choose to throw myself off a 7-story building when I was in high school. It took a lot of courage to do it and here’s why: I was being held only by a rope and spotted by others down on the ground. Of course, I had been rappelling over a few smaller cliffs and had trained to get to this point.

Standing on the ledge of a 7-story building can change your perspective. I wondered if I would really go through with this. I remember the feeling of backing up to the edge of the ledge and realizing that I just had to go for it. Talk about understanding the meaning of trust! I had to trust that I had reliable equipment, knowledgeable instructors and attentive spotters.

At this point, many people would choose to walk away, but not me! There was an added dilemma to this whole ordeal. We were working from a building that the fire department uses for practice on high-rise fires which meant that there were no windows. The building was just a concrete structure with giant holes shaped like rectangles for the windows. I remember my instructor saying, “Just be careful not to swing sideways because you don’t want to swing into an open window hole. That would be bad.” As he is saying this, I am immediately thinking of all the variables that could make that happen, like wind, my trembling hands, and lack of experience. It took a lot of courage, but in the end, I jumped. I followed all the rules that I had learned to safely rappel. When I got to the bottom, I was ready to go again.

This is how it is to trust God’s will for us. Often, we must jump without knowing with certainty how things will land. Isn’t that the definition of faith? Such a simple word, but so hard to put into practice. God will give us the grace we need in those moments, just like I had the equipment and people to help me jump. God has also given us some very wise instruction in His Word (also known as the Bible). God has considered all the variables and knows how to help those work for our good. And when we land safely, we are so happy to know that we have true faith and we are ready to go further, higher, deeper, wider for our good God. And maybe even bring some others along to try it, too!

 

 

 

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Grace pouring down like rain

It’s been raining all day today. My youngest daughter has been watching the weather and shared with us that she saw a clear pattern: light but steady rain, followed by a downpour, then thunder and lightning with no rain, finally stillness, and then the pattern repeats. I am looking outside as I type this and realizing that suddenly there is a whole lot of green grass and budding yellow bushes all around me. Where did those come from? Just yesterday, I do not think it was this fresh and green and full of life!

This pattern reminds me of God’s grace in our lives. He give us a steady and gentle dose of grace, as He reminds us to keep on the right path. Then He’ll send the downpour of grace right before tumultuous times in our lives that feel like the thunder and lightning. We don’t always recognize this downpour because we don’t even know we need it yet! And once we get through those difficult times, we find peace and stillness. We take a moment to look around and see all the newness that our spiritual growth has brought forth.

This new growth was hiding as a seed in our Baptismal grace. It takes walking through all that life serves us to grow spiritually. God gives us just what we need for our faith to grow and bear real fruit.