When standing on the edge of… oh, say….ANYTHING. I get that stomach flip flopping, hands sweating, heart racing- kind of feeling. Not the “Ohh I’m in love” feeling- the other one- FEAR. It could be a bridge, a cliff, or the top of a steep set of stairs. Not quite panic— but fear. Although the fear is manageable… I don’t like it. It makes me feel like a wimp- a baby or maybe just a little too human and frail.
While on vacation recently, I had a few opportunities to face some of my fears. A looooong bridge drive, a steep, narrow light house to climb with the wiggly little guy…..and finally- a crystal clear Norman Rockwell type waterfall/swimming hole, complete with waterbugs of all ages jumping into the rapids, heads bobbing up afterwards with cheshire cat like grins from ear to ear. Standing on the edge with my camera/excuse for not jumping in… I knew I was missing out on half the experience. I witnessed the beauty of the rushing water- but was completely missing out on the fun.
Was I afraid of the waterfall?
No. Not a bit- In fact, I was so enraptured by it- that I totally forgot how short my legs are when I bent down to snap this pic— let’s just say I ended up a “soggy bottom mom”. It wasn’t the waterfall that had me afraid- it was the JUMPING off into the unknown that worried me.
I watched as child after child jumped and swam… I watched as adult after adult proved the safety of the jump. I watched as friends and family rose out of the rapids- aglow with joy.
I carefully edged out toward the middle. I looked down into the swirling water….I walked back to shore. I handed my camera/security blanket to my oldest, and told him I was going to jump. His jaw fell open and nearly hit the shore. I told him to make sure and get the shot- there would only (probably) be one take.
I wandered over to the centerpoint, my feet slipping on algae covered rocks. I stepped aside as 2 9-10 year old girls jumped into the deep. (Ok so maybe it was 4 1/2 feet) I plugged my nose… I unplugged it. I stepped to the edge–heart racing… then down just one rock lower….I plugged my nose again. I made eye contact one last time with family and friends (just in case) .. and then? I jumped.
The water seemed to jump up to catch me. Not at all like the tearing torrent I’d imagined. It was cool and refreshing. I sank to the bottom and my legs automatically sprang me back to the top. I felt the current pulling me side-wise…. gently. My head broke the surface- and I knew I was grinning like a mascara streaked madwoman. Not mad with fear- but with joy. I DID IT!
Exhilarated, I climbed back up the rocks, and then? I did it again. After a nice hike and towel dry… I started to wonder. How many times have I stood on the edge of fun- of a joy filled experience, paralyzed by a fear of the unknown.
Sadly-there have been more times than I care to admit. I’ve missed a lot more than waterfall jumping adventures. I know I’ve felt the same adrenaline rush as I stood at the top of faith leaps- watching others step up and leap- while I snapped pics and cowered in hidden fear.
I’ve been afraid to try, for risk of failure. I’ve been afraid to trust at risk of trust broken. I’ve been afraid to jump- at risk of falling… but all I’ve lost- was the joy of being caught- by much stronger arms than the arms of a river.
The waterfalls in faith leaps aren’t always as tame as the Ocqueoc Falls. They are sometimes dangerous. For some reason- God allows them to be. There is risk in trusting God. There are few guarantees.
But- today, as I upload vacation pictures… I wonder- how many guarantees do we really need- beyond this one:
Matthew 17:20 (New International Version)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Are you standing at the edge of a waterfall of faith? Is fear keeping you there? Are you watching as other leap into the deep and are lifted up as God catches them, jump after jump? Today… I encourage you to go ahead… plug your nose if you have to… and JUMP!
The risk is worth the taking:)
For an interesting study on Faith- please click over to biblegateway- see for yourself the leaps that others have taken… and be encouraged.
In the comments today- can you share a leap you’ve either taken- or feared to take? What was it like? What was the outcome? How did you grow?
PS- yes- the terribly unflattering jumper shot- is me…on my second jump:)
- Don’t Grow Weary