February 6, 2011

jumping & falling

"to love is to risk not being loved in return. to hope is to risk pain. to try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing." bill bixby

jumping and falling into a pile of leaves is delightful. jumping and falling off of a diving board and into a pool is wonderful. jumping and falling off of a 40 foot cliff into a lake is thrilling. jumping and falling off of a bridge with a bungee cord is terrifying. jumping and falling out of a plane to dive through the sky is mortifying. and when it comes to jumping and falling in love, well, there are just no words that adequately capture the feeling.

i realized today that everyone i know shares the same fear: jumping and falling. sure we might love the thrill of cliff-diving, but we're not so thrilled when major changes dive into our lives. we might feel excited to go skydiving or bungee jumping, but it's not so exciting when we feel like we're hanging on to all of the things that we hold dear by solitary cords.

jumping and falling. completely letting go. trusting fully in the LORD. accepting vulnerability. embracing weakness. opening our hearts to another person. committing our lives to a grand purpose. starting a career. starting a relationship. starting a family. allowing change. realizing fragility. releasing control. not knowing. continually wondering. always relying. all render fear.

so we postpone the fear. we wait until we're ready to handle it. instead of jumping and falling today, we decide we'll wait for a more opportune time. until we finish college. until we meet that right person. until we have an adventure overseas. until we find the ideal career. until that right person becomes a spouse. until we become parents. until we're finally old enough. only to find that even after all of those things are in place, so is the fear, right where we left it, and that the birthday where we finally reach the age of readiness is never going to come.

today during the LORD'S supper i was thinking about my own personal fears and how every aspect of my life requires faith. i turned to hebrews 11 and was instantly fascinated, not by the names of the people that i saw but by the verbs. all of the actions. all of the things that people were capable of doing because they let go of their fear and decided to fall. by faith, abel offered. enoch was taken. noah built. abraham went. isaac blessed. jacob worshiped. joseph spoke. moses was hidden. the walls of jericho fell. rahab welcomed. and all of these people were still living by faith when they died.

and they were all afraid. they all wanted to hang on. to maintain control. to keep it together. to protect their hearts. to protect their lives. to live the lives that they had always imagined. but they all had to let go. to not know. to wonder. to trust. to move. to leave. to change. to hurt. to grow. to suffer. to worry. to risk. to jump. to fall.

and it was in that moment that i realized that a life without risk. a life without thrill. a life without wonder. a life without not knowing. a life without discomfort. a life without worry. a life without suffering. a life without growing. a life without change. a life without love. a life without fear. a life without faith. a life without jumping. a life without falling...is not a life. the risk in life that we take by never risking...is never living.

i want to jump. i want to fall. i may crash. but i also might fly.

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." isaiah 40:31

No comments:

Post a Comment