Leap of Faith

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Indiana Jones. I grew up watching those movies, and I definitely wanted to be Indy. There are movies I made when I was a kid, pretending to be him. I would set up traps and everything.

There is a scene near the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which the journey for the Holy Grail is reaching its end. Indy’s father, Henry, has been injured, and he needs to drink from the Grail in order to heal. Henry has taken careful notes in a journal–a sort of map–and Indy must pass through three booby traps as they have been identified in Henry’s journal in order to reach the Grail.

One of these three traps is the “leap of faith” wherein a small bridge connects two tunnels. Under the bridge is a bottomless pit. The issue, though, is that the bridge is designed in a way that makes it invisible to the naked eye. As Indy looks down and across the pit, he recognizes that it cannot be jumped. Behind him, his father is dying, and the only way to save him is to cross the pit and find the Grail. Here is the scene.

Indy realizes he has to take a leap of faith. He can’t see the bridge, but in order to save someone that he loves, he puts his foot out and “leaps.”

Last Monday, my phone rang. On the other end was a man in Fayetteville, NC. That man was offering me a job.

I’ve lived in Covington, GA (30 minutes outside of Atlanta) for two and a half years now. I love it. It’s a small town, but it’s close to the city. There is just enough going on here. My job has been great to me, and I’ve loved the people I have met here. The people here have become a real and significant part of who I am (but more on that later).

I can hear you asking: “Why would Shane even be looking for another job if he is so happy where he is?”

Well, a while back I posted an entry here called “Theories of Crazy and Falling in Love.” That girl, the girl whose name I would carve out of the ocean, lives in North Carolina.

Now I’ve always said that I wouldn’t relocate for a girl. I’ve always said that I would probably ride to the end of life by myself. Sure, I would have occasional company, but I didn’t think anyone would want to stick around for very long. I also didn’t think I would ever stick around for very long. But here we are, sticking around.

When my phone rang last week, and that man offered me a job, I was scared. I had to make a big decision. I had to decide if I was alright with being comfortable here–near my family and friends with a great job in a nice town–or if I was ready to leave all of that security in order to give a relationship a shot in a new town around new people.

Or, to put it another way, I had to decide if I could see my life without her.

And I stood on the ledge above one of the many pits I will have to cross in my life. I could turn back and stay where I was–where I knew there was solid ground. Or I could put my foot out and leap into the uncertainty.

In the scene above, Indy is reading from his dad’s journal. That is where his father’s years of research about the location of the Holy Grail was kept. Indy was using it as his map.

One Monday night, several months ago, I sat with her in a Mexican restaurant crushing indiana jonesmargaritas. (I remember that it was Monday because it was 99 cent taco night.) She knows about this blog and about how I catalog cocktail napkins and the stories they tell, and she scribbled a message on this napkin that summarized the weekend we had just had (binge-watching TV and eating froyo) and gave me a snapshot of our future together. I put this napkin on my desk–which is really a flimsy table. I knew I would write about it eventually. I just didn’t know when that would be.

But it was always there. It was always in my line of sight. And last week, when that man called me and offered me that job, I was scared, sure. But there was a moment, when I was looking out across that bottomless pit, and out of the corner of my eye I saw, folded up on my desk, my map. I saw the only thing I will ever need inscribed on a wrinkled napkin.

And I put out my foot. I took my leap of faith.

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6 thoughts on “Leap of Faith

  1. Very happy for you, Shane! I wish you the best, and I’ll share with you one of my favorite quotes by John Burroughs: “Leap, and the net will appear.”

  2. Pingback: Today, I Found a Dinosaur on my Run | Virtual Napkins

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