Have you ever faced a decision in your life that called for a 'point of no return'? I'm talking about those moments where you have to be all in and there's no going back . . .
I often think of a particular scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indiana comes to a point where he has to take a leap of faith into a ravine without a visible bridge in order to continue on his pursuit of the Holy Grail. It confounds him, because he doesn't have the safety net of seeing before believing.
The most profound part for me was the reality that there is no safe way of finding out the truth. It required a him going all in and put his life on the line. Although this is an imperfect example, it's a good analogy of what having faith is.
Faith is trusting God with your whole life.
A lot of people view faith in God as something that binds you, places outdated rules on you, and most certainly isn't worth all the hassle.
The reality is the opposite: we're made free in surrendering our lives to God – free from sin, from chains of addiction, from baggage, etc.
God created us meticulously. He gave us every gift, talent, and ability for a reason. His plan for your life doesn't simply take who you are into account, His designed you specifically for His plan. God's mission is far better than anything we can come up with within the confines of our own imaginations.
We each have a personal mission and an irreplaceable role to play within the greater mission of the Church to spread the Gospel and make disciples of all nations. The Original Sin of Adam and Eve was rooted in them buying into the idea that God wasn't looking out for their best interests in His plan for them. They believed that God was holding them back from what would make them truly happy.
'Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart' (CCC 397).
You can see this same lie in our culture today. There's this idea that living out your faith in Christ is merely a buzzkill, and it's all work and no play. The Church can be viewed as merely an institution with a bunch of doctrine and laws.
It's About the Person
Our faith, however, is not based on hollow rituals or oppressive rules. It's based on an encounter with the person of Jesus, who changes everything. Our relationship with Christ connects us with the origin of our life and the meaning of where we are going. He desires us not to be weighed down but rather to live life to its fullest potential (John 10:10).
When He calls us to live a holy life, it's because he knows what we are capable of and is drawing our potential out of us like any good sports coach does.
'You observe that contemporary man finds it hard to return to faith because he is afraid of the moral demands that faith makes upon him. And this, to a certain degree, is the truth. The Gospel is certainly demanding. We know that Christ never permitted His disciples and those who listened to Him to entertain any illusions about this. On the contrary, He spared no effort in preparing them for every type of internal or external difficulty, always aware of the fact that they might well decide to abandon Him. Therefore, if He says, “Be not afraid!” He certainly does not say it in order to nullify in some way that which He has required. Rather, by these words He confirms the entire truth of the Gospel and all the demands it contains. At the same time, however, He reveals that His demands never exceed man’s abilities. If man accepts these demands with an attitude of faith, he will also find in the grace that God never fails to give him the necessary strength to meet those demands.' (Pope John Paul II)
The sports coach is training you based merely on what potential he has seen from you in his observations. Jesus not only knows what you are capable of (by His own design), but gives you the power to accomplish whatever mission He asks of you!
Don't let fear stop you
When Indiana Jones resolved in his heart to risk his life and take the leap, his fear was overcome by love and trust.
Giving your entire life to God is bold. The thought of being alienated by friends, family, and even society can be terrifying. But there's no safe way to follow Jesus. Unless you leap with your entire self and put your life at risk, you will never know the greatness and joy of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8) or what you are capable of in Him.
'Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.' -St. Ignatius of Loyola
There's a chief difference between Indiana's leap and our own. When we give our entire lives to God, we aren't taking a blind leap into the dark. We are taking a leap into the light, into seeing all that is good, true, and beautiful in this life and the next!
Take the leap!
In heaven, we look forward to a face-to-face relationship with God for all eternity. That relationship is what brings us to true and complete happiness.
How awesome is it that we have the opportunity to live in that love while we're still on earth?! Let that love of God cast out all fear (1 John 4:18) from what people think and what it will cost you to take the leap.
What you will gain from Christ doesn't even compare to what you give to Christ!
'Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ … and you will find true life.' -Pope Benedict XVI
Note: Do not leap onto an invisible bridge. That's absurd, you'll die.