In the science fiction movie Contact Jodi Foster plays, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen by earth to make first contact. In a climactic scene Dr. Arroway is placed in a pod designed by the aliens but built by humans and then dropped through a wormhole where she would hurl through unknown space . Interestingly the Aliens did not design a chair for the pod, so to be safe Earth’s engineers installed one. During one of the most intense moments of her drop, the pod begins quaking uncontrollably with Dr. Arroway strapped in and holding on for her life. She looks in front of her and notices that a medallion she wore had floated off her neck and was hovering effortlessly in front of her . The suspended medallion was the only thing not tied down on the small craft, and the man-made seat was the only thing shaking. she made the connection and un-buckled herself from her chair becoming as light as a feather. The intense agitation stopped turning a frenzied scene into tranquility. She then witnessed as the chair detached itself violently and like a screw being pulled by a powerful magnet shot to the top of the pod.
Had she instinctively played it safe, and held on to the chair she would have perished with her intuition and missed all the mysteries awaiting her. Counter intuitive to her senses she found that letting go of what she knew was the only way she would survive. As long as Dr. Arroway held on to what she knew, her life trembled out of control.
All leaps of faith require surrendering the things we desperately hold on to. Our knowledge of how things are, and should be has become to us like a trustworthy railing we grasp for comfort and meaning. Then God calls us to let go and trust Him. Like Dr. Arroway when we finally let go and experience the contrasting tranquil scene, we are stricken by the realization of our own exhaustion for having held on so long.