It can be scary to take a chance and do something that takes you away from what’s comfortable.
But sometimes you have to ignore “logic” when you’re learning to trust.
One summer when I was a kid, my parents for some reason thought it was a good idea to forgo the beach and instead go to the mountains to go hiking. I’m sure their intentions were good in encouraging family bonding time through physical fitness rather than playing in the ocean and lying on the sand all day, but I still question this decision. I can’t think of a current situation that would make me choose mountains over beach. Ever. But there we were, the Merrill 5, hiking to the top of a mountain and bribing my sister with Twizzlers along the way to keep her motivated.
One thing I remember most about the trip is having no idea where we were, where exactly we were going or how long it would take us to get there. I’m certain we asked my dad way too many times how close we were to the top, but we never really knew for sure. We just had to trust my dad that he knew what he was doing and where he was leading us.
And sometimes that’s just how life goes.
As I mentioned previously, I left my role as a teacher after seven years. I knew the direction I wanted to go, but I honestly had no idea what it was going to look like. I had lots of people asking me what my plan was and reminding me that I needed to be active in my new career quest. I didn’t have a plan, though. I had applied many different places and was constantly looking for opportunities that I figured would be good fits for me, but sometimes it felt pretty useless. People were looking for years of corporate experience, and I had been in a classroom for seven years—they weren’t exactly jumping at me upon seeing my resume.
Oddly enough, though, I wasn’t super concerned. I mean, I knew how essential it was that I get a job, but I was trying not to enter into panic mode. I knew God had called me elsewhere for a reason, and now was a time I needed to trust Him completely in whatever He had planned. It was kind of like the hiking trip with my family: you just have to continue on the path you’re being led without always knowing what the destination looks like.
And now I know.
Last Wednesday was my first day in my new career, and I can say with confidence that this was all part of the plan that I didn’t make or even have to know about fully. I went through a couple of phone interviews, a writing test and then an in-person four-hour interview process with six different people at the company. I left that day of the interview feeling a sense of peace, knowing that, regardless of whether or not I got the job, I had done everything I could. I had left my normal beach setting for something that was going to be more of a mountain, and I had hiked the path I was given. (Thankfully, I ended up getting the job.)
I know there are often advantages to having structure and organization and a set plan, but there are also times when those things are simply not necessary, and you just have to take a leap of faith without knowing where you will land. I know if God calls you to something that He will provide for you, but it’s so much easier just to say that than actually live in that hope. But, when you do, there is a genuine peace that kicks those doubts and anxieties to the curb. Maybe that’s why little kids seem to have so much fun in life—they hold their parents’ hands and find joy in the smallest things. They never know what’s next, but they don’t really care. They’re simply trusting they will be taken care of.
Life won’t always be the comforts of your feet in the sand and the serene sound of crashing waves on the shore. There will be mountains, and you might have to walk up them—with or without Twizzlers dangling before you. But it’s good for you and could be exactly what you need to do.
After all (and I am unashamedly quoting Hannah Montana right now), it’s all about the climb.