Monday, July 13, 2015

Take the Jump

Do you remember the first time you did something that could end in pain, such as jumping off a high dive? I was a young adult taking swimming lessons at a YMCA. I braved myself to go off the tallest diving platform. I stood at the edge, my toes going purple from gripping it, looking down at the pool far below and remembering that from a certain height, hitting water was like hitting concrete. I would have stayed there until my toes gave out if it weren’t for the ten year olds lined up behind me muttering “Go, lady!” 

So I launched into self-talk: “Okay, now I’m going to jump…. I’m going jump now…. One, two, three…! Okay, now I’m really going to jump. One, two….”

I swear I wasn’t saying anything. Even so, the kid behind me yelled “Three!” I took a gigantic breath, steeled all my muscles including those in my ears, and leaped off. I suffered for the entire drop: This is going to hu-u-u-rt! It seemed to me that I made an impact explosion. I sank all the way to bottom of the ten-feet, pushed up hard, and broke the surface, astonished. I was alive and I hadn’t broken, sprained, strained, or dislocated anything. I even remembered to swim to the side so that the long-suffering kids above me could go on with their front dives and somersaults. And yes, I was elated to have done it.

When you’re at the edge of a leap—a life choice that could be risky—do you jump with your heart in your ears or crawl back down the ladder seething? Will you take that job interview, start that business, write that book, or ask that person on a date? Is the Lord Jesus giving you an inkling toward ministry?  Do you pull toward teenagers, the elderly, ghetto kids, or whomever? Is God bidding you to teach, cook, sing, build houses, or—I don’t know—do evangelistic golfing? When you launch into the work, the Lord of the wind will train and empower you. “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind (Psalm 104:3, NIV).”

Take an example from creation: when fledgling eagles work up the courage for that first wobbly flight, their parents swoop under them, catch them on their backs, fly high, and tilt them off until their children figure out their wings. Like me jumping feet-first off that diving platform, they have no grace at first. They learn to dance on the wind and so can you, with the Lord’s help.

Don’t step back from the edge. Fly with him! 

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Do you or any readers in your life enjoy fantasy? Read how my thirteen-year-old main character, Jeremy Lapoint, learns how to fly in my award-winning novel for kids and up, Children of Angels. And I'd also welcome your comments on this post. Are you soaring yet?