Rigden: … After all, fear begets doubts. But in order to achieve spiritual heights, you will need purity of your sincere faith. It is often doubts and the fear to part with the familiar life that restrain a person. There is an interesting parable in this respect.
“One day a man fell off a cliff. But while falling, he managed to catch hold of a branch of a small tree which grew out of the rock crevice. Hanging in the middle of the cliff, he realised the hopelessness of his situation: it was impossible to climb to the top and there were only boulders at the bottom. The hands holding the branch grew weaker. The man thought, “Now only God can save me. I’ve never believed in him but it seems that I was wrong. What do I lose in my situation if I believe in Him now?” And he began calling upon God with all his sincerity in prayer, “God, if you exist, save me! I have never believed in you, but if you save me now, from this moment on I am always going to believe in You.” So he called out more than once. Suddenly, a Voice came from heaven: “You will believe? Oh no, I know people like you.” The man got so frightened and surprised that he almost let go of the branch. But after coming to his senses he prayed even harder, “Please God! From now on, I will be faithful to You above all and I will do all that is Your will, just save me!” But God was not agreeing, so the man began praying and persuading God even more passionately and strongly. Finally, God took pity on him and said, “Well, so be it. I will save you. Let go of the branch.” “What? Release the branch?” exclaimed the man. “You think I’m crazy?” So is in life. Human life is, in essence, hanging over a precipice. And even though he understands the mortality of his position, he keeps clinging with both of his hands to the branch of doubts of his Animal nature, afraid to lose it and to surrender to the will of God.”
From the book “AllatRa” by A. Novykh