This week marks the Fifth Anniversary of eHappyLife.com, which was started in early 2001 and officially launched on March 1st 2002.
eHappyLife.com was conceived as a non-commercial, positive place on the Internet, where solid fundamental ideas and experiences could be freely shared. The theme of eHappyLife.com was to "Help You Get Exactly Where You Want To Go!" It was a Leap of Faith taken, that any website could survive for five years strictly as a "labor of love" to help others, without any revenue generated by any means in order to support its expenses. This website was conceived and maintained by the sound philosophy of its author that you can accomplish big things over time by setting compelling goals and performing small tasks "a little bit at a time" every day.
The "little bit at a time" method of accomplishment has been discussed often in many Lessons, Articles and Polls on this website. However, in the last five years we rarely discussed the significance of Taking Giant Steps and Leaps of Faith in life. This lesson was inspired by a homily today, when I heard the following words of wisdom: "For Reasons Unknown, Struggle Brings On Maturity." I thought "WOW" that's a powerful combination of seven words! It immediately reminded me of an earlier time in my life, when I took a giant leap of faith with my wife, when struggle helped us both mature rather quickly. I was 26 years old and was about to celebrate my second wedding anniversary. I had a very good job for a fellow my age and rented a house from my employer which was extremely comfortable and very inexpensive. Because I wanted more in life and believed I could do better in my career, we methodically planned a major leap of faith that all kicked-off within a one week time span. We became parents of our first child just days before our second anniversary. So I was a brand new dad. On the day our child was born, I turned in my resignation to my employer and immediately began a brand new job with greater opportunities. We also purchased our first house and a brand new car. In this one week time span I became a new dad; started a new job; bought a new house; and purchased a new car. That was a giant leap of faith for a mere 26 year old. There was no room for error in our plan. We knew we had a struggle ahead of us and had to make every part of our plan work. And somehow it did work.
Throughout life, we all must take giant steps into the unknown. Most small children dread their first day of school, when they have to leave the comfort of their Mom or Dad and be turned over to a strange pre-school or kindergarten teacher and a roomful of other kids they do not know. Just imagine if we sheltered our children from this giant leap of faith? This first day of school becomes somewhat easier as time goes on, however I still remember the uncomfortable feeling I had when I entered this huge high school I attended for the first day, hoping I could find my classrooms and adjust to this new school setting. And I still remember the uncomfortable feeling I had when I moved away from home for the first time and entered the gates of the Penn State University campus, which was large and intimidating, surrounded by complete strangers, large buildings and the pressure to succeed. However, what would happen if we retreated from these experiences, which were giant leaps of faith into the unknown?
This process of taking giant steps and leaps of faith goes on throughout our entire life. We enter new schools; join summer camps and live with strangers for weeks at a time; enter the military and live in strange places around the world; get married to people we know for a short time and hope for the best; start new jobs and work with people we've never met; move into new homes and new cities we know little about; and the list goes on. Along the way we face the unknown often, yet trust that we will survive all the stress and struggle associated with these leaps of faith. And we learn that "For Reasons Unknown, Struggle Brings On Maturity!" As said another way, "no pain, no gain!"
One might ask, so when are we mature enough, in order to stop struggling? My answer is "probably never." We will always be faced with decisions in life that will involve struggle. Sure we struggle with the unknown as kids entering school and as teens entering college. However we continue to struggle with the unknown and continue to take giant leaps of faith throughout our lifetime. Isn't it a giant leap of faith when we turn our lives over to the skills and reputation of hospitals and surgeons later in our life? We know we will struggle after surgery and during recovery, and we know that these giant steps must be taken at times in order to save our life. We also know that many loving relationships later in life become difficult to save, in order to protect our health and well being. Anyone who has ever faced the challenges of separation or divorce, knows in advance, that there will be a tremendous struggle ahead for the estranged partners, families and friends. However, in extreme cases, these and other giant leaps of faith must be made, driven by the hopes for a brighter, healthier and happier future.
Just as we can accomplish worthy goals throughout life doing things "a little at a time," we also must be prepared to take "Giant Steps and Leaps of Faith" as well. Because "For Reasons Unknown, Struggle Brings on Maturity." And we will never stop maturing and growing in mind and spirit!