Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I have been thinking a lot lately about leaps of faith. A leap of faith is what it is because it requires faith. Faith that you have the ability to make the leap, faith that if you don't have the ability to make the leap, but do it anyway there will be something there to catch you.
I think there are plenty of times in our lives we take leaps of faith....the first is probably the day we take our first breath. The last will be the day we draw our last. In the middle there are the days we make a friend, the day we give our heart to that first dream, hope, or boy. The day we walk away from that boy when we realize he just isn't the right one. It is the day we say yes to that amazing man bowed on his knee, the day we declare to God, friends and family that we will love each other all the days of our lives. There is the day we push our way into being a parent the first, second and third time. It is the day we sign our name to a mortgage. We make all these leaps because the risks are overshadowed by the gains. We are encouraged to take these risks because it is what we do to become happy, fulfilled humans.
I think a lot of these leaps have occurred in my life not because I dedicated myself to making the jump, but more like a child who does not fully understand the risk and jumps just because they want to. I did it and realized the implications of failing after it was all said and done. Call it naivety, call it confidence, maybe mix the two together and you have the mindset of me in those moments.
But I am beginning to reach an age where naivety is all but gone and I have enough scars to make my confidence wain when it comes to making big decisions. It is not so much a fear of failure that becomes an obstacle from just leaping anymore, but the pain of jumping even if I succeed. Kind of like why I will not jump from a bridge with a bungee tied to my ankles....I have faith in the bungee..I also know that much tension and jolting on my joints is going to make my middle aged shoulder, knees and back hurt...a lot. The benefit is there, the risk is outweighed, but past life experiences and future life expectancies start to filter in and make the waters a bit muddy.
So it is with extending our family with adoption. We are not young parents in our twenties who think we know it all and have more energy than sense. We have lived long enough to realize we don't know it all. Our energy is there, but sometimes our motivation is hibernating. We are not just us against the world....it is us and Noah, and Macy, and Molly...strength in numbers, yes, but responsibility multiplied. Every decision is weighed by what can we handle, what can we afford, what will be best for Noah, Macy and Molly, what this--what that. And then in the end it is no longer a leap of faith, but a calculated move. And in that moment we have moved on our own accord and not with the God who placed the desire within us to begin with. Excuses wrapped in the pretty paper of Wisdom are like the gifts displayed in the mall at the holiday season--pretty, but fake and empty.
So how do you marry wisdom and good choices with leaping in faith? Can you do both? I believe you can. I believe in striving to align yourself with the ideals of the God who created standards and believing no matter what we will be held in His hand allows you to be both wise and courageous. He is both...and if we are an image of Him, so can we. I think where it all falls apart is when we become our own standard or we allow the standards of those around us to determine what we need and what we must do. What shackles to place upon ourselves! How can we make that running start into a great leap if we are wearing that weight?
I am reminded over and over our whole duty as humans can be boiled down to this: 1. Love God. 2. Love man. That is what Faith makes us do. We have faith in Him, so we love Him. We have faith in Him, so we love man--and in turn he provides for us to do that which He has asked us to do. It may not be all we want, it may be just what we need. It assuredly won't be pain free--discipleship is a call to suffering--how can we imitate our crucified savior and not expect to endure our own pain? But in the end....the risks are overshadowed by the gains.
So what does this mean? It means you look to HIM and you jump. For us that means we come out of our heads, come out of our comfort zone, we come out of our own selfish wishes, and we foster. We open our homes to angels (Hebrews 13:2) and we love them while they are in our lives and rest in the Hand of the God we believe will provide. It is our desire that in fostering we will be blessed with children that will find permanency in our home, but if that is not the plan, we will strive to make each child who enters our home feel the love that we feel from God. 1...2...3....Leap.