There's a saying I LOVE to emphasize with our girls when it comes up in a teaching in their summer program: 不知深浅，切勿下水. "If you don't know how deep it is, for sure do NOT jump into the water." It's smart. Good advice, right? It works for water, especially diving, and it works for relationships, especially of the romantic sort. If you don't know the guy, don't know his character, "Don't jump!" If you don't know what it takes to have a good relationship, don't know how to recognize a good one, don't know what the dangers are, haven't worked through your own healing--"Don't jump!"
And it's also good for life. Don't jump into a business contract, don't take out a loan, don't take a job, don't start a program, without knowing what is involved. Ah, Christians might be more familiar with the concept of "counting the cost" and the example Jesus gave--building, or waging war, first "count the cost."
Nearly two decades ago, as I was preparing to move overseas, someone, in a sermon, mentioned "count the cost," or "measure the depth, before you jump." And I tried, really, I did. But I also realized--there was so much I couldn't know. I counted and was prepared for the costs I knew about, but for that I did not know, all I could do was trust that the God who was leading me, would be with me into the future. He'd have to take care of it, because, I'm just not that smart.
And with me He has been.
But now, I realized, I've jumped again. I've jumped without knowing "how deep" it is. I've started without knowing fully what the cost will be.
Oh, and I do know now how "costs" can mount, and demand more time and energy than I could have imagined. And while it is all great and fun, and I really would love to spend lots of time there, I already have many duties I am not responsibly fulfilling, and there is a danger I could get all busy and fool myself into thinking it's all good, but I'm ignoring some important other things.
God, help me to be faithful to what you have called me to, to all that you have called me to. This daily cross, this daily dying to self in learning to properly steward my time and energy is not over. In fact, the demand will become so much greater.
I sensed You leading me to do something about the homeless, but I have no idea what to do. I just have some money that I sensed You wanted me to put toward that, helping who I can, as I saw them. Then, I saw the boy...felt you led me to notice. And I prayed. And finally I met him. I don't know how on earth or when the idea came to get the kids involved, but I did. I invited them to do what they can, to not just turn away because it's hard or awkward. And they heard. Some of them, at least, are trying to reach out. Maybe one of them will be able to befriend him, and others. Maybe we'll be able to find a way to provide some better living arrangements, showers, food and clothing. I don't know where this will go. I...don't know how we'll have time for this.
I sensed You wanted me to.
I don't know how to count the cost.
I don't want the cost, the regret, of not following, not obeying.
I don't know how it will work out.
But I jumped.