Picture this: I’m climbing high in the red rocks of Sedona and come to a place where the way up ends at a chasm six feet wide and eighty feet deep. The only thing to do is jump across the gap or climb all the way down and take another route up. My son and his buddy came up the other way and are waiting on the other side. Here I am: back tight up against a rock wall, feet on the narrow ledge, toes at the edge. In front of me is that yawning gap. I can’t even take a running leap at it. James is beside me encouraging me; my son and his friend are standing on the other side with their arms open, ready to catch me. So, after a lot of hesitation, I take a deep breath, call upon the Holy Spirit, summon up all my strength, close my eyes, jump…and sail right over the two boys! You can imagine the exhilaration I feel. I keep hugging the boys and yelling, “I did it! I did it!” Then James jumps over, and we carry on up to the top of the mountain. The story of how I jumped across that gap has been told many times, and the spot has earned the name of “Mary’s Leap.”
In my morning quiet time today, that story came back to mind. I had been reviewing my practice goal for the year, my goal to make giant strides in:
- Withdrawing my faith from disaster and placing it firmly in reality (T-16.II.9:5);
- Asking and listening to and hearing the Holy Spirit, and letting Him decide for me (T-14.IV.8:1).
I went on to write that, if I was going to make those giant strides, I must be:
- Vigilant against the ego (and for God) (T-6.VII.C.5:1);
- Diligent in countering the ego and withdrawing my allegiance from it (see, for instance, T-4.VI.12:4-5 and T-4.VIII.6:2); diligent in practicing, practicing, practicing.
Then it came to me that I needed to add the giant stride of:
- Accepting that “God is” (Lesson 169.5:1-4).
Writing that brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, I wondered if perhaps I did not truly believe that “God is.” I seemed to believe that it was true, but did I really? Accepting that “God is” meant accepting reality, placing my faith in it––in God. Had I not set myself the goal of withdrawing my faith from disaster and placing it firmly in reality? How could I do that without acknowledging that God is?
After sitting with this for a while, I asked myself what it means if “God is.” It means––obviously––that God is real, and nothing else is real. Reality is “God is.” None of my worries, concerns, fears, or all these thoughts with which I preoccupy my mind are real. They are meaningless! Since “God is,” since He exists, so do I––not as this body––but as part of Him. It’s no coincidence that all this is coming to me in the midst of the “God is” series of lessons (42–47)!
Then the “God is” scroll came to mind (see Cameo 32). “God is” was written on the center panel, and the past and the future were written on the left and right panels. As tempting as it was to read the past and the future, Helen realized that she didn’t want to read either, so she rolled up the side panels and stopped with “God is.” Presumably she decided that “God is” was all there was and that was enough for her. If “God is,” there is no past and no future and, therefore, there is no need to think about either of them. God is here and now and that’s all that matters, all that has any meaning. That must also be enough for me, I thought.
If I want to make giant strides in placing my faith fully in reality, I must place it fully in “God is.” I wondered if I was ready and willing to make this leap of faith. It was then that “Mary’s Leap” came to mind, and I asked myself if this leap of faith wasn’t the real “Mary’s Leap” facing me. Here I am now, standing on a narrow ledge with my back against a wall, a wide and deep gap between me and the other side. “I’m stuck on this side unless I make that leap of faith in God, aren’t I?” I asked. I have encouragement on this side and two beings waiting with arms wide open to welcome me on the other side. Only by making the leap of faith can I reach safety and continue my journey. Otherwise, I will remain stuck and afraid, unable to go forward or backward. Only by making that leap of faith can I take a giant stride away from disaster and into reality, into “God is.”
I stopped then and asked Jesus what he had to tell me about all this:
This is what it’s all about: being there alone in your fearful thoughts of disaster or with us here safe on the other side, continuing on this glorious journey home together. All it takes, Mary, is that leap of faith. Why would you hesitate to make it when all that you could ever want is over here? You want meaning, Mary; you want purpose; you want joy; you want peace. All that awaits you here. Come; the leap will cost you nothing. It is the gateway home.
Okay, dear Jesus and Holy Spirit; I’m ready. I’m ready. Here I come. I trust that you are ready to catch me if need be and to lead me on.
I have a big smile on my face now as I see myself making that leap of faith straight into their loving arms.