Over the summer, I decided to attend an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship event near the Upper Peninsula called Chapter Focus Week. It was a time for being open with yourself, sharing what you have, and looking for ways to be your better self, all while enjoying good company in beautiful scenery.
There was a common theme I found throughout the week, and that theme was about risk-taking. If you want to be committed to following Jesus, you need to be willing to take the risk to follow with him no matter what.
But coming in, I wasn't sure if I wanted to take any risks. Sure, I wanted to spice up my life, but I wasn't sure if it could involve risk-taking. But on Tuesday of that week I had an epiphany.
There are some parts of my life where I was clinging on to a rock maybe a little too hard. At those times, I felt like I was solid, as if there was no reason to venture any further. I know the feeling because that's what I felt like before I went to college. It felt so good to be in that moment back then. It felt so good that I thought I could just hold on to those days forever.
But then the landscape started to change. There were applications to fill out. Some of us took AP classes. Some friendships broke off or just simply drifted away. Those were signs telling me that the time to leave was inevitable, but there was still a part of me that didn't want to let go.
However, there was something that needed to be said, and regardless of how hard it would be to face it, it was necessary for me to learn this: I need to let go of that rock of comfort to get where I need to be.
I couldn't spend my whole life clinging to what made me feel comfortable. There were chances to take, places to go, things to do, and what I had to realize was that rock only provided so much.
I needed to find the path of rocks that was going to lead me to my future, and there was no turning back the minute I continued to move forward. Even if the path involves getting shoes wet or getting one or two scrapes/bruises, what's the most important is getting to the other side. As long as the rest of you doesn't get too hurt, you would be fine.
And there would always be someone that can help you along. Chances are, they have been there or had just been where you are, and they would want to help you in any way they can. That friend, RA, counselor, or anyone you trust can help you across the path of rocks standing firm against the waves of life.
I know that's how it's been since I went to college, and to be honest, I'm glad I can't go back to those high school days. Better yet, if I could go back, I'm not sure if I would change a whole lot. While the path was scary/hard at times, it doesn't change the fact that I'm glad to be where I am now. I'm glad to know these people, I'm glad to go to the same school as them, and I'm even glad to know what I want to do in my life.
Needless to say, ever since that week, I decided to call myself a Christian. Even in admitting that, I thought I was losing my mind. But here's the thing that brings me joy: God loves. His love isn't limited to an individual, He just loves. He's always been there and is always willing to listen. Even when every earthly thing I have disappears, God is always there. Knowing that, my conscious was made clear.
Now, I may not know where this path is going to take me quite yet, but even so, I am going to welcome every bit of what comes my way. Life's too short to worry about what preconceptions people would have to say about me. It's also too much work to worry.
While I can't say I'm a master at the leap of faith, I can say since I went to Chapter Focus Week, I'm less afraid to use it. Risk-taking is nothing to be too scared of; it just goes to show that life could very well surprise you in the end. And nothing's really as it seems.