A Leap of Faith
Year in Review 2017
“I don’t know what we’re doing here – you and me … I don’t know what we are or what we can be, but this doesn’t have to be about that. This can just be about … a chance. Taking a chance.” We are taught at children to look and not touch. During the holiday season, one can peruse various markets and stores and see young children holding their hands behind their backs, actively looking but not touching. British author Dianna Hardy, in her book “Broken Lights” tells us life is about doing exactly the opposite.
Kwanzaa is a holiday of families that will be celebrated Dec 26th through January 1st. The lights of Hanukah are in the process of being lit and we are in the middle of the season of Advent with the second candle on the Advent wreath having been lit this past Sunday.
Carols are being sung and one of the more popular ones is the Twelve Days of Christmas. This past Christmas we spoke of this song and I mentioned the Nine ladies dancing and ten lords a-leaping as I asked – Do we merely dance through this thing we call life or do we leap? Are we really willing to take a chance or are we simply content to waltz through known steps with familiar companions along heavily traveled pathways? Certainly a young woman never danced with a stranger in the assemblies of old. Have we taken the edicts of ancient societies and used them to restrict our own living?
The book “False Gods” by Scottish writer Graham McNeill contains a very interesting conversation: “When you have come to the edge of all that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen,’ the Warmaster had told him. ‘And what are they?’ he had asked. ‘That there will be something solid to stand on or you’ll be taught to fly,’ laughed Horus as he jumped.”
I cannot remember a time when certain relatives did not label me a “wimp”. The term itself is interesting and although meant as an insult, I considered it something of a compliment. It is also incorrect but more on that later. To be a wimp means one is a weakling or lacks courage but therein lays the dilemma. You see, such a term can only be defined within the narrow parameters of one’s field of vision. Growing up with relatives who were always injuring themselves defying the laws of gravity, I considered myself wiser and that while they might have considered me a wimp, it really just meant I was smart enough not to get injured.
When it comes to people, I have great trust and , some would say, courage. It is not that I am that brave; I just am that full of faith. I believe in people, hence this blog. The term “wimp” has other meanings, though. “Weakly Interacting Massive Particle” is an acronym for the dark matter that comprises most of the universe, known and unknown. Simply put, it is all the stuff we do not yet know about our world beyond our planet.
WIMP as an acronym has two other meanings. The first is a computer term: In computing stands for ‘Window, Icon, Menu, Pointer’. This acronym was developed in 1980 by Merzouga Wilberts and though it is seldom used, we all use it every day. Most of us have a desktop that contains icons which provide a short cut to a program. These icons serve as a menu to our programs and when we click on the icon, the program opens. Congratulations, you just used a WIMP to access this blog.
The last acronym for WIMP was devised by a politician and so don’t be surprised that it is, like the term used by my cousins, considered an insult. Russ Limbaugh developed WIMP to refer to a “women influenced male person”, something he considered less than desirable, less manly. Mr. Limbaugh has apparently forgotten that no one is born without being influenced and grown within a woman’s body. He himself, therefore, is a WIMP, based upon his own definition.
Labels are great for filing cabinets but not so much when it comes to people or as a way of living. While the very purpose of a word is to have meaning, those meanings often change through the years, depending upon context, culture, and usage. We need to think for ourselves and have faith to act accordingly, not rely on what someone might call us.
Wimps are not necessarily people who do not take a leap into the world. They might just be people who follow a different path to that leap. I certainly do not want you to leap out in front of a speeding train or moving vehicle today. I would advise you to take the advice of Sarah Ban Breathnach. “Take a leap of faith and begin [each day] by believing. Believe in yourself.”