Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Let's be more aware of all the choices, situations, twists and turns that brought us to this place right here and now. They May Be Miracles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just Jump

Have you ever stood on the edge of something - a platform, a cliff, a bridge - to bungee jump or zip line down or jump/dive into water?  How does that feel, standing on the edge deciding to just jump?  A little scary?  Scared that maybe the harnesses won't catch or hold you - afraid you'll crash to the ground - afraid that you'll get hurt somehow?  And yet, with all those physical threats, you still choose to just jump anyway because your faith in the process is much greater than your fear of injury or death.  You decide that many people have done it before you and they all came out ok, right?  And you do it - you jump!  And it's amazing and exciting and more fun than you imagined and you can't wait to do it again!  Wow!

I was thinking about this as my 7 year old zip lined for the first time this weekend.  I thought about how easy it is for us to take physical risks even at an early age because we trust that it's safe regardless of how scary it looks.  Then I thought about the scary things we face throughout our lives - not the physical things - but the emotional, the day-to-day, the risks to rise above or advance, the ambitious moves we need to make.  Sometimes we stay planted in a safe place because we are too afraid to go for something.  The "what-if's" can consume us.  We don't trust the process or that someone around is going to keep us safe - or that even we ourselves have what it takes to accomplish the unusual or ambitious idea.  Why is it so much easier to risk our physical lives by jumping off of cliffs and platforms than it is for us to risk embarrassment or failure or possibly even success in daily lives?  It all comes from the same place - it's all a decision.  Either way probably the most thrilling choice is to JUST JUMP.