Two students were asked to meet their teacher at the start of a track through the forest. He gave them instructions to follow the path to its conclusion, in preparation for a test later in the week. The path had two sides, one side was clear and smooth, the other side had fallen logs and other obstacles in the way. One student chose to avoid the obstacles, running around them and taking the easiest path to the end. He felt clever as he dodged through without hindrance. The second student chose to tackle the obstacles, battling through every challenge in his path.

The student who chose the easy path finished first and felt proud of himself. “I’m glad that I chose to avoid the boulders and logs, they were only there to slow me down,” he thought to himself. The second student arrived at the finish feeling tired and regretting the path that he had chosen. The teacher nodded and smiled at them both. He requested that they join him at a specific location in three days. When they arrived, they could see that there was a ravine that was a few metres wide. The students looked at their teacher and he said just one word. “Jump!” The first student looked at the distance and his heart sank. The teacher looked at him. “What’s wrong? This is the leap to greatness. Everything that you have done until now should have prepared you for this moment.” The student shrugged his shoulders and walked away, knowing that he hadn’t prepared adequately for greatness. The second student looked at the teacher and smiled nervously. He knew now that the obstacles that had been placed in his path were part of his preparation. He knew now that by choosing to overcome challenges, not avoid them, he was ready to make the leap. He measured his run up, sprinted towards the ravine and launched himself into the air. He made it! If you too want to make the leap to greatness, you must first understand that life is meant to be a series of challenges that we overcome, not avoid. The messiness, the difficult conversations, the hard work, the discipline, acting boldly when you don’t feel like it. That’s part of the deal. Don’t pray that God will remove the obstacles, pray that he will give you the strength to overcome them. And then take the leap!