On the Edge of Faith

Think of those Olympic diving contestants, balancing on steady toes, high above a deep pool. Place them on a spring-board, one that actually moves with barely the whisper of one’s controlled breathing. There they stand, forever it seems, collecting themselves, imagining in their minds the flawless twists and turns they would execute before slicing perfectly, body straight, toes pointed, into the pool. Over in just seconds, the dive has taken years of practice and preparation. Still before the spring off the board, what goes through the diver’s mind? And how does it effect their dive?

Hurdle, tuck, twist, flip, twist, flip, tuck, spot, kick out, rip

Or for those backward dives:

Approach, breathe, breathe, breathe, miss the board, miss the board, miss the board . . . I can’t do this . . . Bail! Bail! Bail! Stop thinking that! I can do this!

Yes, I can, Yes, I can. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Breathe. One, two, three, hurdle, ganier, tuck, twist, flip, twist, flip, tuck, spot, kick out, rip, I did it!

It matters not what we are diving off of or into, exercising faith seems key in it all. A baby gaining strength to rise from tummy to all fours takes a tremendous amount of effort, inherently propelled onward. Pair that with unending encouragement and cheering on, he is most certain to win. Somewhere from deep inside is this drive to stand up into the position he was created to dwell in. And so the thriving child does just that. It is a microcosm of faith in action, being fully displayed before our very eyes.

Oh, to be able to listen to the thoughts of the baby’s mind. Perhaps he is totally unaware of the faith he is practicing as he just keeps reaching, reaching, reaching for more. Or perhaps his giftedness for reaching is what drives him forward.

It seems that as one stands at the edge of faith the conscious mind becomes tuned in to its situation. Awareness of unknown territory, dangers, wonderments at what might next be encountered. Or, like a parched river bed, awaits the filling of needed rain. Sometimes the execution of long practiced patterns of moves brings the successful entry as one dives through a new space. Other times, like an exhausted baby whose efforts have worn him out, he must just rest and wait, gather strength to try again.

In either case there is only so much a person can do before their limits are met. What those limits are greatly rest in how he thinks; the encouragement he hears internally; and the urging on from others.

It is no wonder our LORD fashioned us to be in community. To cheer one another along, to speak truth into our selves. It behooves us to consider carefully where we place our faith. On the Rock? On shifting sand? I choose the arms of the unchanging One who holds me tenderly, and has bridged the greatest gap my faith will ever try. Meanwhile, like the babe delighting in a new world, or a diver relishing perfect entry after their dive, one can rest in the joys of gratitude and peace, growing until it is time to walk or dive again.

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