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.


LibbyLibbyLibbyLibbyLibby said...

And I never jump. :) I wish I could...but I don't. I'm cautious. :)

DUSTINE said...

Me too Libby! That's why I really started thinking about this. It's amazing to me how many times I've physically put myself in harms way...but I'm always scared to take a big risk when it comes to money or business or career choices. So strange!

I'm so glad to hear from you - I think of you and other blog buddies so so often...I just got away from it all and it has been tough to train myself to get back to it! I hope you are well! Many blessings to you!!!


Larry said...

I'd rather jump out of a helicopter into the ocean (and I have many times) than be completely relaxed (be myself) in front of most other people. Fear is only rational on an individual basis. I remember being a skinny little kid. I tried to use what wits I had to keep from getting beat up. So far so good! Also other kids and some adults spoke cruelly to me. I think that combination has caused me to shy away from people in general. I don't find it irrational. It makes sense to me! Someone could say that this behavior could be a disadvantage for me. Maybe. I've known a number of people to die or become crippled by automobiles, motorcycles, and sporting accidents. I've also read in the news of many people getting killed by other people. I'm not saying we should all worry about every little thing, I'm saying it is probably quite natural to worry about things that we relate to.
Faith or even despair might cause a person to overcome a fear. I believe (faith) being honest with yourself and others is vitally important to overcoming fear.
It may sound counterintuitive, since I commented about myself NOT being relaxed in front of other people. And so it is! I still believe it. I am learning. I'm learning to have faith. I have found that the less I guard my ego, the less others will guard their ego. Not %100, but it does work. What about getting trampled? I guess I'm just getting used to it as I get older. Sure some will trample you. At home or work it might not be a problem. Obviously in a riot it could be a real problem. I believe that trying to be the person that I believe that I should be is very important. Keeping at it is extremely important to me. That means getting up after I fall down. What about God? I believe God and truth run hand in hand. Telling the truth to yourself, telling the truth to others, being REALLY honest is the way to run hand in hand with the light of God.
So why is it so difficult? We make things difficult don't we. I suspect that was the message in "Just Jump" Dustine. Maybe we are here so we can work on getting it right. Love ya Cuz!

DUSTINE said...

That is all so true. It is natural for us to want to protect and guard our emotions and ego. I'm betting failure (and embarrassment or being harassed or made fun of) is a much bigger fear than physical safety or death to many or most people. Not sure why when I really sit and think about it, but you do give a compelling explanation.

Thank you for your loving and heartfelt are an amazing person, cuz!