Going from the known to the unknown is frightening. It’s to walk to the very edge of the cliff face and peer over the edge. You can feel the ground beneath your feet, and it rises toward you, sure and strong. You also can feel the wind currents swirling in front of you and know you’re supposed to step into them. You’re supposed to set yourself free.
Then again, perhaps the known is that space. You are accustomed to being tossed every which way and never knowing if you’re headed up, down, right, or left. You have no idea what it would be like to stand upon the solid ground and to be asked to walk. You are familiar with the wind currents, so the cliff becomes your point of terror. What if you land on it and are unable to stand? Will you be able to walk? What if you face plant and make a fool of yourself?
If those thoughts gain ground in your mind, you may stay in your known space. It is, after all, familiar to you. You’ve made it cozy even if it is or isn’t a great space. You have lived in that space for months or maybe even years. You know how to dwell in that space, but you know – you know – it isn’t the best place. It isn’t the one to which you are called. You are called to the unknown. You know this, but you feel the hesitation. How to leave what is familiar to you? How to traverse that space?
You do it in faith. You don’t know how the unknown will turn out – that’s the point. You are being asked to let go of the old and embrace something new. You can’t bring the old with you; you must leave the comfortable behind you. You can bring what you’ve learned from the known, but you can’t have one foot in the known and the other in the unknown. The unknown doesn’t operate that way. It requires new thought processes and new ways of doing things.
If you hold onto the known while grasping at the unknown, you will only tarnish the second and perhaps lose them both. You will always struggle to soar in the wind or to walk upon the solid ground because the known keeps you chained to the ground or imprisoned in the currents. No, if you plan to go into the unknown, you must go wholeheartedly. You must sacrifice the known. You must give your all and risk it all because that is what the unknown asks of you, and if, for just one moment, you see the beauty in that, you will let go of the known and launch yourself into the unknown.
Image: Mitchell Joyce (CC BY NC 2.0)