By Rusty J.
I discovered an activity that piqued my interest: competition pole-vaulting. It seemed simple. Granted, it wasn’t exactly as simple as uniting two ends of a magnet; however, once I had mastered the basics of the sport, it became much more manageable. I discovered that pole vaulting had many mental and physical requirements: I had to determine just when to begin my approach, just when and where to plant my pole, and just how to hurl myself up and over the bar. The pole vault approach always gave me a bit of anxiety. I had about six seconds when my mind would contemplate, fret, and go berserk over the fact that I was about to be thrown 15 feet in the air by this pole I was carrying. The outcome of the vault usually wasn’t altered much by what I did after I left the ground. I concluded that the quality of the vault depended primarily on the intensity of my approach and takeoff. Pole-vaulting is a mental sport. If doubt ever crept into my mind during the run I would often not complete the exercise. If I continued I would be in bad shape once in the air, sometimes being thrown sideways and outside the safety of the pads below.
We are all sprinting down the runway of life and are all required to leap into decisions. Left and right we are bombarded with them. Sure we can avoid some, but whether or not we want to, we all have to make them. If we approach these moments of decision with fear or doubt, then we might go splat on the hard ground next to the pads. What we need is faith and confidence. Just as two magnets with similar polarization are in opposition to each other, so too are fear and faith. The two can’t exist in the same space simultaneously. Faith isn’t just proceeding with the thought, “Oh, I sure hope this will work out” and then leaving it up to chance. True faith is embracing life with an abiding trust and confidence that leads us to make correct decisions. Then we will land safely on the “pads” of life.
How do we gain this true faith? For our faith to be sure, we must have confidence in something that is irrefutable. We must have faith in God, our Heavenly Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. As we approach our life with a reliance on them, knowing they will not fail us, and as we align our choices with their will for us, we can have complete assurance that all will be well. We can confidently move forward without hesitation or fear.
I know that there are moments in life that may feel as though we are required to jump fifteen feet over our heads at times when we seem too tired to even stand up; however, I know there is always a way to do what is required. There is a way to experience hope amid loss, joy in spite of pain, and growth throughout trials. This scripture illustrates that point: “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). We can rise above the frustrations of life, overcome all our inadequacies, and be at peace in this life as we put our trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.