Cautious start before making a leap of faith

Rev Gilbert Nisbet
Rev Gilbert Nisbet

Haven’t the Winter Olympics been thrilling?

I’ve never been skiing or snow-boarding in my life and am unlikely to start now, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying the spectacle played out on the snow.

I have curled – all, right, once – and have been impressed by the skill and determination of the British team.

As for the Skeleton and the marvellous gold medal won by Lizzie Yarnold, her bravery left me spellbound. Nothing would ever induce me to hurtle down an ice slope on a tea tray!

Yes, I know they are much more than that, designed to extreme levels of scientific and technical excellence!

The confidence of these young competitors as they speed down the slopes or perform those remarkable aerobatics defies belief.

How do you ever take off into the air like that for the first time?

Well, of course, they start in a small way and gradually build up to the daring displays which have so impressed all of us who were glued to our screens.

But that first time must be a huge leap of faith.

What these young people have is confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Yes, they must experience nervousness and doubt, but they are able to overcome them and, with time, have complete faith in their skill.

Once the leap of faith is first made, and they put in the work that’s needed, then they acquire the confidence which enables them to compete in such a spectacular fashion.

Of course, before they make that first leap of faith, and attempt a jump, they have had to put in a great deal of practice.

You have to spend time on the nursery slopes before you try anything bolder.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is much the same. Yet there are many who believe they can just jump into faith without putting in any practice.

However, the leap of faith can only really be taken after you have spent time on the nursery slopes of the Christian life.

There are times of doubt and uncertainty which must be encountered if one wishes to have a strong faith.

There is a learning process to come through, so that confidence in just what it means to follow Christ can be built up.

It takes time, patience and practice to have the faith that will allow you to brave the perils and pitfalls of life with assurance.

Yet once you have acquired a real, strong, true faith in Christ, and all he shows us of the love that God has for everyone, we are able to take off on the slalom of life with all the grace and aplomb, the skill and the verve of those young snowboarders,skiers and skeleton competitors.

It’s worth putting in the time so that you, too, can make that first leap of faith and go on to believe with confidence in Jesus and the hope he brings to life.