Growing up in a cold climate, I have no memories of traipsing around fields searching for multi-colored Easter eggs. Since it was hit or miss whether the ground would be covered with snow, my parents had to be more inventive. My Dad hid our Easter eggs in the house, with hand-handwritten clues.
The rules were simple. Decipher the clue, find the hiding space for the next clue and be rewarded each time with a sprinkling of foil-covered chocolate eggs. The final clue would lead us to the mother-load: a chocolate Easter bunny and the remaining chocolate eggs.
Wouldn’t it be something if life worked that way? Discover your purpose by simply deciphering each clue along an easy-to-follow path. Think it through, work methodically, don’t detour and voila, you are there: the chocolate bunny of happiness is all yours.
When I look back on my career path, there are parts of this equation that seem true. Every job led me to another one that fit slightly better. Every mistake I made, taught me something. Every step I took moved me closer to where my soul was yearning to go.
In hindsight it seems clear: there is a master plan taking me somewhere. The problem is when I get caught looking too far ahead. When I let those little seeds of fear and doubt wiggle their way in and I start searching for proof that the path I am on is going to lead me to my chocolate bunny.
When this happens, I forget the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr. telling me that I do not have to see the whole staircase, I just need to take the first step in faith.
My faith steps are fickle. I am good with the first faith step. And the second. And even the third. But at some point the fear monger inside me starts to pry apart the nails on the stairs. Then I feel wobbly. I start to doubt. And then I want the whole staircase to materialize. I want to be able to see to the top and know that it all works out.
It was easy to trust my Dad. I knew his clues would lead my sister and I to the next clue and the next, until we found our way to our chocolate bunnies. But to have unshakable faith that the staircase I am on is leading me to where I want it to go?
But that is the crux of it, isn’t it? “Where I want it to go.” Faith does not work that way, does it? Even when you set a goal and want it with ever fiber of your being, there is no guarantee that you are going to get it, is there? You can hone your talent, practice, persevere and keep getting up every time you fall down, but the end result of all your efforts is not in your control, is it?
The staircase may lead somewhere totally different than you wanted it to go. But I guess faith is about continuing to takes steps and trusting that wherever it goes, that is where you are meant to be.
Easter egg hunts were so much easier.
“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“When we focus on faith rather than fear, anything becomes possible.” — Gail Lynne Goodwin
“Faith is like a mountain and doubts are like clouds. Can any cloud anytime shake a mountain? It is impossible. “ – Sri Sri
“Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” — Anne Lamott
“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton
“Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” — Khalil Gibran
“Faith is not about everything turning out okay, faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out.” – Unknown
“A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.” — Unknown