Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Jumping Off a High Dive
I have noticed that most public swimming pools no longer have a high dive, but when I was a little girl our swimming pool had two diving boards. One was the regular "short" board, but the other was miles up into the sky.
Every once in a while I decided that I would be brave. I would jump off that high board. That was the easy part of the decision. The next step was always a little harder. The part where I actually got out of the water and make my way to the diving boards. I was still able to change my mind at that point. I could always get in the line for that "short" board, and no one would ever know I had chickened out.
Sometimes I would. Bawk Bawk. That high dive was... well... HIGH. I was just a wee little sprite, and as I looked up at that board it was terrifying to me.
Sometimes I was brave. Sometimes I actually got in line. Once in that line, I never stepped out. There was an excitement about standing there in line with all the other other kids, waiting in line to do something everyone else was afraid to do. The excitement itself was enough to carry me up the ladder.
I always needed FAR more than excitement to get me to that edge of the board. And, by the time I got to the edge, I ALWAYS changed my mind. I would look down- WAY WAY WAY down, to the water below and my heart would begin to beat. My hands would get sweaty, and I would get the horrible empty feeling deep down in my gut.
I remember those feelings so very clearly, because so many events in my life have been like those high dive moments. A single chance to change my mind, or to take that terrifying jump.
This calling has me feeling like that little girl again. I am waiting in line for a chance to take a dive. I have gone through all of the same emotions; carried on by excitement, carried through my anxiety by a greater fear of humiliation, and forced upward and onward because of line of people waiting on me to JUMP.
I don't have to jump yet. The ladder is long, because the board I have to jump off this time is much, much higher than any other I have ever jumped from. While I am climbing, I am being prepared.
My gut still has that queasy feeling, I am overwhelmed sometimes by the anxiety of moving to a country I know so little about. I am scared to tears by the thought of not being able to communicate. As I climb that ladder, the thoughts ring through my head, "What if... the team in Loja does not like me? What if... I can never learn to like Spanish? What if... the plane crashes on the way there? What if... I humiliate myself and my family?"
But, I am carried upward and onward. There is a line of people waiting for me- people who need to know the message I have to share with them. People who will die without the hearing and believing of that message.
I will keep climbing because my purpose is far greater than that of an exhilerating jump off a high dive. I have a calling from God, and when I get to the edge of that board? When I get to the end, and I look down? When I reach the point of turning around or jumping to the the point of no return?
I will not be jumping into water. I will be jumping into the arms of the very God who called me to this purpose. When I get to the end, I will probably change my mind, but I will jump.
Will you pray for Dustan and me as we continue to climb this "ladder"? Sometimes it gets terrifying. Sometimes we start to count up what we will lose by "jumping". Sometimes we take our eyes off of our God, and put our eyes on the dizzying heights.
Will you pray for our courage? Will you pray for our focus? Will you support us with your prayer as we prepare to jump, and then as we are falling....?
We need people to join our prayer team. We need to know that we have a support group of people here at home who are holding us tightly in their prayers. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be part of our prayer support team.
Jumping for a purpose,
Becka and Dustan