When I was about seven or eight years old I had this “game” I would play where I’d close my eyes in my bedroom and walk my way down the hall, through our entertainment room, and past the basement stairs railing using only my fingers as my guide. My thought was, “Maybe someday I’ll be blind, and if so, I’d better train myself now and hone my senses.”
It wasn’t out of mockery or fear that I played this game. In a way, I considered it an adventure: a child’s simplified method of understanding a world of experiences greater than her own. I had a trust that said “Everything in life will be okay.”
Of course, life hits back hard with frightening close calls – dog bites, bike wrecks, lip stitches, staph infections, broken ankles, skin disease. (Yes, I have experienced them all.) Childhood faith remains, but is nonetheless shaved thin by the time we reach adulthood. Reality can be trust’s biggest bully.
The new year approaches, and I’m looking toward more life changes than I’ve experienced in over a decade. Much of it is joyful and exciting – now engaged and moving toward a wedding and life together, my man pursuing teacher certification for hopefully expanded career opportunities. But with it all comes that dreadful feeling of…the unknown.
Walking blind through the hallway, past the stairs.
It’s not much of a game anymore. I’m no longer interested in understanding experiences greater than what I’ve known. How about we play pillow fort instead? That’s cozy…soft…protected.
But then, every time I make my emotional mountains bigger than they should be, a gentle reminder comes from the Holy Spirit: “Everything in life will be okay.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
I’ve grown in faith through adversities, yet I still have far to go. The stakes seem higher with every new responsibility, even with every new and blessed gift God gives me. I have faith enough to go to God more frequently in my needs, but my faith struggles to accept He would answer in a way that is good – or I, in my feeble humanness, would recognize and receive His answer before it slips through my fingers.
You know those moments in 3D platformers where you need to make a critical jump or defend against an attack, and the camera just will not move for you? (Spyro Reignited, I love you, but seriously.) It’s frustrating; we call it a game flaw, maybe even write a complaint in our Amazon review. But in real life, you can never move your own “camera” as much as you’d like. And yes, people are certainly willing to complain about that as well. But if my urge to be in control produces fear rather than peace, am I really living in my Father’s will?
I suppose that’s why He calls us to a blind walk of faith (2 Cor. 5:7) – not so we’ll be careless but so He can prove the guard rails are already in place. I’ll close my eyes, then, and hone my sense for the Holy Spirit’s voice in the unknown of a new year. Lord, show me a faith that sees joy and adventure in a journey through the dark.