The Leap of Faith
Every action we take is a leap of faith. We have faith that our truck will carry us safely down the road and home again. We have faith that the gas stove won’t explode while we are cooking breakfast. We have faith in our talents, skills, and beliefs as Pagans.
We perform both mundane and magical acts to push ourselves to do better, be better humans, and better Pagans, better witches. We have faith that we can do these things. Where does this faith come from inside us? If you remember the story of Pandora’s box, you remember that Hope was the weakest creature inside the box and that it never actually escaped.
All humans have hope. With hope, which is said to spring eternally from the human breast, we can have faith. Hope and faith go together, because it is extremely strong hope that creates faith. In other words, we want something in particular to happen so badly, hoping, wishing, dreaming for the outcome we desire that we believe-have faith- that it will be so. Dreams and goals are part of this Hope/Faith pairing.
We dream that we can do something. For instance, years ago, I dreamed of becoming a professional writer and a novelist. Something about the idea of telling an entertaining story to masses of people makes me happy. It’s a happy thought. There would be people reading my work, enjoying it and waiting eagerly for the next book. There was a time when I thought this might not happen for me.
I had a manuscript, which I began writing with a pilfered spiral notebook from my children’s room, and a Bic pen I found in the kitchen of the house we’d just moved into. Eventually, I got a computer, and I finished that story. There was a hitch: I developed a rare eye disease that caused me to lose my vision. I was legally blind by the time I had finished telling the story. I could not see that the entire middle of the book was not on the floppy disk when I printed the first few copies of the manuscript.
My first few attempts at having it published failed, probably partly because the story was incomplete. I reworked the manuscript, adding more depth to the characters, so that the reader could see and know them the way I did. I had, and still have, faith in my ability to tell a good story. When I had rewritten the story, edited, re worked and added more to the story then I began submitting The Travelers to publishers again. This time, the whole story was saved, and thanks to adaptive technology, I could see and know the story was complete. This, again, is the leap of faith.
I have faith that I can and do tell a great story. I have faith that my gods are watching over me, and sometimes guiding me along the way. After quite a few rejections from agents and publishers, I put the novel on Kindle myself. I was still true to myself- I did not pay a vanity press a ridiculous amount of money to publish the work. I found a friend to do the cover and convert the files so they could be uploaded. Then I created my account on Amazon, uploaded my story, and did everything else I could possibly do. That’s faith.
I have faith that everything will work out, as I will it to work out. I may not be a bestselling author with this book. Perhaps it will be the next one, or the one after that, or the one after that. I keep leaping. You never get to take the leap of faith one time- you have to keep on leaping until you land where you want to be. We all have our own path we must walk; all of us have our own star to follow.
We all have a leap we have to take. For me, the leap was just as much about knowing my story deserved to be read as it was refusing to let my vision impairment defeat me. In fact, my visual impairment made me quite frustrated at times. It still does, but I have faith in myself, and I know that the gift of storytelling is from the gods. I know that losing my sight has no bearing on my mind, my imagination, or my skills. It has little bearing on who I choose to be. It is not a reason to give up on my dreams. I’m pretty sure that the Gods/Goddesses who have sacrificed an eye or both of them, for some reason, would agree that this is no reason to quit on yourself or what you want in life.
I took my leap this year. My novel is ready to be read on Kindle applications, and it will soon be in paper. If a person has faith in themselves, faith in their talents, and faith in their patron Gods/Goddesses, then even the largest of leaps is not so scary, and we can let absolutely nothing stand in our way. I will let nothing stand in the way of my work.
The gods gave me the gift of storytelling. I have done it from the time I could talk. I have faith that I will continue to tell stories of every sort for many years. Others will read some, some may not be. Some will be widely received, and some will be rejected. I will not give up, and I will not be a sheep.
If the Celtic mythology teaches anything, it is perseverance. If the Norse mythologies teach anything, it is certainly determination and tenacity. The mythologies, like the gods themselves, all have something of value to teach us. The main thing they teach is belief in one’s self and to be unafraid of our own individuality. This helps us find enough hope to take the leap of faith.
What is your leap of faith this year?