When I was in college I went snow shoeing at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. One the people in our group found a ledge/cliff about 25 feet high where underneath was a substantial snow drift. People were launching themselves off the cliff onto the drift. My first thought: They're nuts! But after watching for a few times I thought that it looked fun. So I worked up my nerve and climbed up to the top of the cliff.
Yes, I've heard the old adage moms everywhere employ, you know the one, "If you saw s0-and-so jump off a cliff would you jump too?" Well, this time I said, for better or worse, "I'll jump." So snowshoes shuffled to the edge of the cliff, I peeked over the edge. 25 feet had stretched into 250 feet it seemed. I was HIGH. This was stupid. But I was committed. So heart pounding and adrenaline racing I jumped.
No roller coaster anywhere has anything on cliff jumping with snowshoes in the National Park. It was exhilarating, and I even have the photo to prove it. It's so cool. Picture me mid-air, half way down the cliff and back lit with Colorado sunshine.
So after all this build up I'm sure your expecting me to tell you that I ended up breaking my leg, and my mom was right. I should never follow someone off a cliff because it looks like fun. But no. I landed just fine, in a fluffy pile of snow. Sort of anti-climactic, I know.
But this post is about jumping. And discipleship. And disciplines of the faith.
Dave (our pastor) has been doing a series in Proverbs called "Making Life Work" and last night he focused on the verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path."
Trust is like jumping. You can't leap off a cliff one foot at a time. It's pointless to try to wave your hand over the edge and see if it's safe.
Ya gotta jump.
Metaphorically speaking trust is like cliff jumping and I think cliff jumping is a little know discipline of the faith. If you want know God you've gotta trust him. You've gotta jump. If you want to grow up and mature you've gotta go where the cliffs are. Oh, sure you could stay in spiritual suburbia. But that's not where the adventure is. The adventure requires everything; it requires a leap of faith.
For us, choosing to adopt (especially foster-to-adopt) has been cliff jumping. It wasn't safe, and perhaps seemed foolish. We had to trust God to protect our hearts and our family as we chose to love a child we could have lost.
The adoption journey is coming to an end for us. July 9th baby will be ours forever. Looking back there were moments of terror. There were times where I tried to just stick my toe over the edge, not ready to leap. But after all was said and done, hearts pounding, adrenaline racing we did leap. And that has been one of the most precious gifts of our lives.
Now I wonder what other cliffs are ahead. Where will we find that we need to jump, trusting our God is good and he cares. What does the future hold? Because I'm not ready to head back to the suburbs just yet.