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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cliff Diving

Photo by Leland Davis
A woman was on a journey to bliss. Along the way she would come to crossroads, and when she did a Guide would appear. He would give her information which would allow her to make an informed decision as to which way to go next.

Sometimes she listened closely to his advice. Sometimes she did not. Sometimes she stood at the crossroads for a long time before moving forward along one path or the other. Other times she would impulsively race down whichever path struck her fancy at the time.

Regardless, the Guide was always there to help her if she wanted it.

One bright summer's day, she reached yet another crossroads. She could see that one road led to more of the same scenery she had become accustomed to. The other path only went about 10 feet before ending at a cliff's edge.

"Surely," she thought, "this choice is easy. Stay on the path I am on!" When she began to take a step forward, the Guide appeared. She smiled and thought he would tell her she was, of course, doing the right thing.

The guide told her she needed to take the other path. He told her it was the best path for her to take to reach her destination.

She pointed out it ended at a cliff's edge. There was nowhere to go but off the edge. The Guide smiled and told her she needed to dive off the edge of the cliff.

She cautiously approached the edge of the cliff and looked down. All she could see was fog. There was no way to know how long the drop was. . .or what was waiting at the bottom. There might be a deep pool of water. . .or jagged rocks. She couldn't even tell if it was a straight shot or if there were ledges and rocks sticking out which would injure anyone diving downward.

She queried the Guide. How safe would she be if she dove off? His face became somber. "You will be hurt on the way down. There are rocks and ledges along the way which will toss you too and fro. . .and leave you a bit battered and bruised. But if you take this leap, you will be better off for it. You will be ok when you hit the bottom, and closer to your destination than you would be otherwise. This is the best path for you. The other path will only bring you pain and sorrow. I promise you that it will be worth it, and you will be ok if you take the leap."

She carefully considered the guide's words. He had never lied to her or led her astray. Still, that cliff-diving thing was really scary. And he told her she would get hurt on the way. He told her it would not be a pleasant trip downward. But he also had assured her it would be worth it, and she would be ok.

Quivering with fear, the woman closed her eyes and took the leap. As she fell downward, she felt someone taking her hand. She opened her eyes and saw her Guide. . .he looked in her eyes and smiled.

"I have always been by your side. You just never noticed me until you had a problem you needed help with. First it was only at crossroads. Now, as you take this leap of faith, you again need me . . .to comfort you, to ease your fears, and to tend to your wounds. This is why I could promise you that you would be ok on your dive. I was going to be with you every moment of the way."

When we are required in life to take leaps of faith. . .do we remember that He is always on those leaps with us, or do we mistakenly think we will be alone on the way to the bottom?

~Dani who is the woman in this story.

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