My heart was pounding. The sun was beating down on the back of my neck. My little feet left wet footprints on the warm concrete. I shivered… from the gentle Kansas breeze or nerves, I couldn’t tell. I approached my target. Breath. Step. Breath. Step. Breath. Step.
The higher I climbed, the harder my heart pounded. I reached the top and peered down to the deep blue water. My Mama was looking up at me, her hands shielding her eyes from the sun, watching my every move. I inched slowly to the end of the board. Then I turned around, heading back towards the ladder.
Suddenly, I spun on my heels, got running start and jumped. It felt like I was flying, suspended in air for a few brief seconds… That is, until I hit the water.
Yes, my first ever trip off the high dive at the swimming pool ended in a belly flop. Uh, ouch? While the landing took my breath away, my third grade limbs managed to function well enough to get me back to safety to the side of the pool. I DID IT.
Many years later, I discovered that my Mom was prepared for me to chicken out. When I turned back around heading towards the ladder, she thought I had changed my mind. But in all actuality, I had a surge of courage. Get a running start, plug my nose and dive in.
Nearly two decades later, I am still not much of a thrill seeker, especially when it comes to heights. But one thing has changed. When it comes to Jesus activities on the ground, I now have the courage to risk boldly and jump (with or without the running start and/or plugged nose.)
While I would love to say that the risks I take were the same caliber as jumping off the high dive, now they seem to be much more intense. Instead of risks of the physical type, God has called me to risk boldly when it comes to issues of the heart. Personally, my heart seems more fragile than my body sometimes.
And yes… even “heart risks” can end in a belly flop.
I risked boldly when… I answered the call to be an army wife. It’s thrilling, rewarding, and occasionally terrifying. Yeah, sometimes I feel like we are just treading water, waiting for a direction. But I don’t regret diving into marriage with my beloved.
I risked boldly when… God told my husband and I to start a family. Right now, we still feel the sting of that landing as we recover from our miscarriage. However, we are slowly but surely paddling to the ladder of safety and recovery on the side… And we await the call when God tells us to dive in again.
I risked boldly when… I answered the call to ministry. Launching my own personal ministry has literally made me lose sleep on occasion, due to excitement, uncertainty and confusion. Yes, I have swallowed a little water along the way and felt like I was temporarily sinking, wondering WHY I jumped in… But God is right there beside me, His words similar to Dori from Finding Nemo: “Just Keep Swimming.”
Is God calling you to dive into something? Or are you already in the pool, trying to keep your head above water? I would love for you to share your experiences by leaving a comment here.
Regardless of where you are on that risk taking dive, whether you are still on the ground looking up, in the middle of the climb, flying through the air, recovering from a bellyflop landing or paddling towards the side… Know that God is your lifeguard, cheering you on. Don’t be afraid to dive in and just keep swimming.
Doggie Paddling my way to Jesus,
“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.” –Luke 19:26