Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Sitting in the front row as the incline increases, our stomachs churning in dreaded anticipation for what is about to happen, we mentally compute the final clicks and those brief bits of seconds before the roller coaster free falls into the wild and winded loops and turns that we've waited for hours to experience. Inevitably though, we feel that ever so small inclination that not going through with the ride of our lives is perhaps a better option. The twisting of an internal determination based on past experiences, as well as our current emotional and physical response to the thought of such a bigger than we remembered monstrocity staring us down amidst the pressure we may be getting from our own group, can be, shall we say a little overwhelming. Equally inevitable, however, is that one brief mili-second as we are just headed down the drop when we (in a confidence of like intensity) let go of the logic and 'safety first' predications and we think to ourselves, "maybe, we just go for it."
Faith and Trust are a lot like the biggest and scariest roller coaster, not so much in the ups and downs part, more so in the intensity part. The apprehension we feel headed into a step of faith is indeed with heavy amounts of similarities and likewise, the moment we discover that it's now or never and we decide to go for it all the way is equally exhilarating. In uncanny parallels we only grow more courageous and intent on being bold enough to get into that seat and lock in that harness, the more we watch others (especially the children) doing it before us and not only coming back alive and well, but excited and more confident because they did it. Equally, as we read the stories of men and women who were raw and far from perfection, by faith experience some of the biggest and most outlandish miracles, rescues and promotions this side of eternity we are flooded with the same inklings of confidence and tenacity to experience the same miraculous movements of God in our own lives. With each story, we also are able to track that one particular moment when the decision had to be made to maybe, just go for it.
Matthew 9:20-22 (NKJ)
"And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment I will be made well." But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour."
This is a profound moment in the life of a sick, and (to this day) anonymous woman. She doesn't even get a name drop, but she does get a faith drop. As we all know so well, that it was her faith that Jesus responded to and recognized as the facilitator of her healing. We've heard the teachings on her tenacity and her point of contact that disrupted Jesus' attention in the very center of loud voices and moving body parts all around Him. But a real lesser emphasized key factor in her story are the moments leading up to this encounter that she had with Jesus. Unfortunately, we don't know the specifics of what she had to do to get to this moment (it's even a miracle that we have the number of years that she endured this specific health problem); but truly (and as a human) she most assuredly had to mentally reach a proclamation to maybe, just go for it.
In the Kingdom of God we all know that this/these decisions are ones we must make in order to obtain something that is seemingly beyond our reach. Paul the Apostle referred to this as "pressing on," while Daniel needed to lock this in and hold his position, even still, Abraham had to follow through with a knife plunge; regardless of what it looked like, our examples of "going for it" each have the same intensity, the same resolve and the same disregard for natural security. This isn't saying that wisdom was tossed out the window of a a runaway train that we've hitched a ride to just for the thrill of it. However, it does give us some much needed parameters for taking a step of faith - and God's version of parameters look less like confinement and most like freedom of restraint so that we maybe, just go for it.
Ephesians 6:13-15 (NOG)
"For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace."
See, in verse 12 of Ephesians 6, the list of that which we are actually up against (powers, principalities, rulers of darkness, etc) is mostly a direct attack on our thought life. Our thoughts, after all, are shaped from the time we are born to now by our environments, circumstances, societal dictations, parental guidelines and everything in between. We've got a mixed bag going on inside of our heads with most of it being a mere suggestion of how things work in the world in which we live. It makes God's statement in Isaiah 55:8 all the more important to keep at the forefront of every decision that we make, and especially when maybe, we just go for it.
So what was Peter thinking when his foot came down upon the firm support of Jesus' word to him, without any consideration for the brooding weather patterns and the wild water gaining momentum all around him? Were his first thoughts, "that was easy!" or "uh oh!" or "did something just move under my foot?" or what about "wait, is my entire foot submerged in water right now?" and final thought, "uh, where did Jesus go?" At this moment Peter most likely realized a reality that many of us have come to know as we too take our first steps out of the boat - watching Jesus do it does not equal easy. For Him, of course it IS easy, but on a human level, investing in a good wet suit isn't a bad idea. See, stepping out into no-man's land has a tendency to becoming quite the rude awakening that we may just need. As we determine that we will maybe, just go for it, we quickly realize that there are a few requirements to address along the way. Things such as keeping our GPS fixed on the lifeguard (Jesus) that is currently perfecting this, not a few feet away. Another quick tip is to have the understanding going in that getting a little wet is part of the deal. Also, if something (aka: our feet) starts going south, don't start screaming; simply reverse what was done to start the sink and recalibrate our next step back to the surface. Last but never least, remember that the One who called us out is closer than we realize and He is ready to help us finish that which we started with Him. Oh, and by the way - learn as much as we can in all of our endeavors because next time we go for a walk on the white caps, we can apply these same things with greater confidence as if Jesus is no where in sight, except within us.
Listen, although our first thoughts when determining that we are going to go for it tend to include the word 'maybe' at the start, that still small voice isn't going to relent until we realize that if we are TRULY going to follow Jesus and act upon His call to us; there really aren't any maybe's about it. This is all about who we are, what we have and what we are supposed to do with it; more than what's in it for us, what if I don't make it and isn't this crazy. Knowing that in the balance of the either/or the "or" isn't even a consideration. Either we step up and step out into our true identity and start living the life that God intended for us to live or watch everyone else on the thrill ride, that is their lives.
In other words: JUST GO FOR IT.