Standing at the edge of the vast unknown, many of us want certainty. We want to see clearly before we risk taking that first step. Some stand frozen, too freighted to take even a single step. Others pretend they can see what can’t been seen and even though they carry a lighted candle, they walk in darkness. Still others take a few steps in faith and then retreat to the security of pervious step, standing only on known ground that provides enough security to feel reasonably safe.
Genuine faith isn’t about certainty. Genuine faith isn’t about security. Genuine faith doesn’t happen without risk. Genuine faith is a willingness to take a step into the unknown with a single lighted candle, knowing that with that step with will be sufficient light for that step and that with the next step there will be sufficient light for that step too.
Even with sufficient light for each step, most steps in life are filled with uncertainty and risk. Even with sufficient light we can stubble and fall and even hurt ourselves occasionally. "I should have known better," we tell ourselves. But knowing better often happens after the step is taken. It’s much easier to look back and second guess ourselves. "I shouldn’t have stepped there. That was crazy. What was I thinking?" Such thinking is seldom helpful. In fact, such thinking can freeze us in the tracks of uncertainty or cause us to retreat to safer, known ground. It is better, much better, to acknowledge that with each step we take we are doing the best that we can for that step. Perhaps it is the wrong step. Perhaps it is a step that costs us dearly. Still, it’s the step we took in the path. We must accept that, learn from that step, and then risk another.
Taking steps in faith, risking the vast unknown, makes life worth living. As we stumble, climb, crawl and even sometimes leap, we gain wisdom and courage and joy. We come to feel over the process of time that even though we will always face uncertainty, that this is okay. Certainty comes only with the next step, and even that step is never without risk. Over time we become less and less concerned with the risk and more concerned with taking new steps.
Take courage. Step into the darkness with confidence, knowing there is sufficient light for the next step.