I jumped. I can’t believe I did it. I was afraid. I was excited. I was free.
A month ago I spent an afternoon of jumping with a small group of adults in Florida.
Let me explain.
I spent a week with some adults who are immersed in faith formation leadership. They want to make a difference and long to find a better way. It can be hard. It can be wonderful.
We set out for an afternoon of leadership development and confidence building on a high ropes adventure course. Even with hesitation the magnetic pull of a relational community fueled our confidence.
And so it began. We harnessed in, got trained and climbed the ladder. Aside from a few moments of initial uncertainty we managed to get the hang of it. We clipped in and traversed high into the trees (it felt more like a jungle and I like Tarzan). This particular ropes course was suspended above zoo animal habitats. With each element we peered down to see monkeys and aardvarks and exotic birds. It gave the feeling of being in a strange faraway land. It went from fear, to tense, to exhausting, to laughter. Then we were back on the ground. Such was phase one.
Phase two stopped me in my tracks. We looked up to see a ladder, then a long rope and wooden step swinging walkway and a small platform suspended 50 feet in the air. There lied the zip line.
Someone looked at me and said, “Why don’t you go first?” Feeling the need to prove myself as a brave leader I reluctantly said, “OK.” Up I went.
I followed our experienced guide of course and made it to the landing. As I pulled myself up to take that final step onto the platform my heart sunk, knees trembled and I looked at the guide with a blank stare. And the I looked over his shoulder to see a 700 ft. zip line across a small lake and into a dark place in the pines(did I mention there were alligators in the water?).
The guide clipped into the zip line and said, “Ok, see you on the other side.” Wait, no “you’ve got this, you’re going to do great, your safe and have all you need to make it.” Nope, nothin’! Just “see you on the other side.” And off he went.
There I was, alone suspended above the treetops wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. The stillness and quiet of the moment caused me to pause for just a moment. I looked down at the two strong carabiners that clipped me securely to the zip line and I had a brief moment of clarity(or insanity) and I remembered how far I had come. I had traversed high in the trees and safely arrived in this place.
It was time to jump.
I placed my gloved hands over the clips and jumped.
Unbelievable exhilaration followed me 700 feet through the air as I laughed and screamed and landed safely on the other side.
Today Lent begins. Will you jump?
Will you dive into a deeper relationship with Christ? Will you let go of your fears and trust? Today we are reminded that Christ has gone before us. Lent is a time to gain that moment of clarity by looking to the life Christ lived and gave for us all. Let’s jump together.