A man once stood atop the mountain of life piled a mile high and looked across the other side. He desperately longed to be on the mountain peak opposite his for this is where his dream and passion were. Discouraged by how far it seemed to be, he settled atop his mountain and sighed; each day looking across as the distance seemed to grow wider. One night after a long day of walking in circles he dozed off and had a dream. In his dream he heard a voice clearly say “Live by Faith”. The next morning he awoke and pondered what the voice had meant and came to the conclusion that this was the sign he needed to pursue his desire for reaching the mountain top opposite his. Only He mulled over the dream, and the message so critically, and skeptically that ultimately he changed the words to better fit his ideal for achieving this goal; deciding that to leap would be easier than to live and so he began to prepare for a great leap of faith. His preparation included walking in circles, and most of all hoping and wishing more earnestly than ever before. Soon he was ready, and with a running start he shut his eyes and leaped courageously from the place he had been, hoping to land at the place he desired to be. But gravity… Is no respecter of persons, nor pursuits, and so the man fell hard and fast landing at the very least of the valley. Unprepared for the the conditions the valley presented he scurried off in fear and disappointment making his way back up to the comfort of his monotonous mountain bruised and jaded. The man returned to his life of walking in circles, occasionally glancing over at the mountain peak opposite his, only to be interrupted by the memory of the dreadful fall and valley. And then it happened again! The dream! The voice! Once again he heard it clearly say “Live By Faith”. The man woke up startled remembering his previous dream, and how he changed the words and what resulted of it. That day the man began to meditate on these three words “live by Faith” whispering them over and over and determining in his heart and mind to understand what it meant. Soon he could feel his faith stirring up inside and he knew what he needed to do. The man decided that although it would be more difficult to live, than to leap he would begin preparing to live by faith. His preparation included studying the route from the top of his mountain down into the valley, and from the valley up to the top of the mountain opposite his. He remembered the harsh conditions of the valley and realized that living by faith would be the only way to succeed. Finally, he embarked on the journey leaving the place he had been, believing to arrive at the place he desired to be. Down into the valley he went, and once again he was met by the terrible difficulties of valley life. Keeping the faith he pressed on toward the mark; onward and upward he marched relentlessly. The incline on the mountain opposite his was steeper than expected and required much patience and practice to conquer, but eventually he reached the top. Looking back over his shoulder the man realized that the qualities, attributes, characteristics, perspective, maturity, mentality, experience and straight up toughness required on this new mountain top could only have been developed through the journey in which he just completed. What the man never knew he would absolutely need in order to achieve his dream and live his passion, are exactly what was acquired in the decline, the valley, and the incline between the place he had been and the place he desired to be.
To leap is to imply jumping over, or skipping something. That something may be a critical part of the process. Living by faith on the other hand, will be the sustaining power throughout the entire process and journey.