I usually know when God is directing me to do something, especially when it is something that I would be reluctant or flat out refuse to do on my own initiative. When I am sure, after prayer and discernment that God wants me to do whatever it is, I am willing, or at least I can make myself take that first step of faith into the unknown.
When I do take that first step, I like to be assured that there will be solid ground underneath my foot when I set it down again. And there are times when God allows me to see the pathway in front of me clearly enough to see where my foot will land.
Other times though, I am called to take a step of faith, that becomes a flying leap into the unknown.
I remember feeling this way the first time I went down to Saint Meinrad for a class for my Masters. I knew exactly where I was going, and felt very welcomed when I got there. What took a leap of faith was shy little me walking into a room where I knew almost no one. I was sure that first entire weekend that everyone there would realize what a phony I was and they would send me packing. Self doubt is another of my major faults.
I am so happy that I didn't let my fear keep me from stepping off into the abyss (sorry classmates and friends from St. Meinrad, I know it can't be easy to think of yourselves as a great abyss). I love my weekends there now, I look forward to them with a sense of glee that I never could have imaginged that first weekend.
Dragging myself back to the original point . . . I continue . . .
Anyway, I am learning that I should not fear those leaps of faith, because I know that God will never send me where I cannot find my way. I know that whatever new experience God asks me to have, I will learn so much about myself and the world that I should welcome anything that I might encounter.
After all, leaps of faith aren't into an abyss, they are actually into the loving arms of Our Heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy . . . and I can't imagine Daddy not being there to catch us, hold us fast in His loving embrace, and lead us into this new land we are called to enter.
Besides, I have learned from experience that doing God's will promises one thing: it is always going to be an interesting journey.