An Old Zen Saying

There is an old Zen saying,
“Leap and the net will appear,”
That I find defines
Both faith,
And fear.

For to me the saying says
If I have the faith
In myself.
In who I am.
And what I believe.

Then I will do the things
I know to do,
And need to do,
In the life
That’s been granted me.

But if my faith is weak,
If I do not believe
In who I am,
And the things
That I believe.

Then I will be paralyzed
By fear.
Stuck in place.
And stuck in time.
No longer growing.
No longer changing.

And when a life stops
And remains the same
Day after day.
Then that life
Is all but over
Isn’t it?

This Zen saying
Also says to me
That it’s OK to be afraid.
That fear is a normal thing.

It’s like a zip line tour.
When you can’t see
Where the line ends.
It just passes
Through the trees.
And ends somewhere.
When you look down
From the platform
You are standing on.
Way up in the air.
Looking at the ground
Way the heck down there.

You know
That the zip line
Just won’t break.
That it’s rated to carry
20 times your weight.

You know
That the gear you’re wearing
Won’t break either.
That it will keep you attached
To the zip line.
That the gear,
Just like the line,
Can carry someone
20 times your weight.

But still,
You stand there.
On that platform
In the air.
Not knowing where the line
Will take you.
Afraid of having your feet
Hanging in space
100 feet or more
Above the ground.

You know
That if you were to fall.
It would just be the end
Of you.

That’s how fear works.
And it’s certainly OK
To be afraid
Of hanging from
A heavy gage steel cable
100 feet or more
Above the ground.
When you have no idea
Where that cable
Will take you.

You have a choice
As you stand there
On that platform
In the air.
You can pick up your feet,
And ride that zip line
To its end.
Or you can listen
To the fears you have.
And climb down to the ground.
And just go home.

Even though you know
That all you have to do
Standing there on that platform,
Is trust in what you know.
Instead of what you feel.

For like that old Zen saying says,
“Leap and the net will appear”

As I sit here on my sofa,
Writing down these words.
I can’t help but think
That I’m at such a place
In the life
That’s been given me.

A place where I simply have to take
That leap of faith.
And that everything will be OK
If I just don’t let
The fears I have
Tell me what to do.

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