Ready or Not: Why You Should Take the Leap
If your friends asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?
Let me explain.
I was a sophomore in college, which is somehow already a few years in the past now—the glory days when you live with your best friends and they call it "school." It was a normal weeknight and I was pretending I had the slightest clue how to do my Greek language worksheet due the next morning. I was sitting with a few friends out at one of the picnic tables in our dorm's courtyard area, enjoying the warm southern California evening air and the string of twinkle lights dancing above my head. Just as I thought I may have finally figured out what in the WORLD it means to parse a Greek verb (nope, still no idea), another group of our friends came strolling up the walkway, still sweaty from lacrosse practice.
"Are you guys coming bungee jumping with us?!" they asked excitedly as they made their way over. Um, what? We had talked about getting a group together for sky diving or bungee jumping someday in the future and I had fully resolved that I wanted to do these things...someday in the future. Though terrified of both, my stronger thirst for adventure made me curious enough to want to try.
But I wanted to try someday, you know, the noncommittal type of someday that you pin that ambitious paleo-visual-masterpiece-meal to your recipe board on Pinterest with. The type of someday you never really expect to present itself in well, the present.
After giving it some thought and deciding that my greater fear was regretting a choice not to go, I suddenly found myself rushing up to my room to pull out my laptop and sign my life away for the competitive price of $85. In total our group would include 6 jumpers plus few others who agreed to come along for the ride which in this case, was a 5 mile hike in to the perfectly good bridge we’d decided to willingly fling ourselves off of.
Fast-forward to the moment. You know, THE moment. Never mind the sights of the pretty hike in, which I completely missed just trying to keep that morning's oatmeal down. Never mind the endless minutes of freak-out leading up to the moment, during which I'm pretty sure I provided that cheap, reality-show-trainwreck-can't-look-away type of entertainment to everyone there that day. (If you have any questions about this, just know that one of my friends video-taped these minutes and when he oh-so-kindly shared this video with the cyber world, he named it "Bungee Jump Heart Attack." The title's accurate if nothing else).
So there I was, in the moment: harness securely fastened (don’t worry, I checked 27 times), feet teetering on the edge above a 150 ft. drop, and my death-grip locked on the bungee instructor’s shoulders pleading with him to let me back out as he counted down from five.
I flung myself backwards and my surroundings became hushed as I flew weightlessly through the air. Exhilarating. Surreal. Silent.
Silent, that is, other than the deafening noise (which I think can be classified as a scream) that erupted from my being and pierced the air, reverberating throughout the canyon.
So why do I share this story? Well, because that's sort of what it feels like to put yourself out there and pursue your dreams. At least, that's what it feels like for me.
I love to write, to use words and story to communicate an idea. I love having an idea—one that is meaningful and buried deep, and I love the creative challenge that accompanies the process of trying to articulate that idea in such a way that it might resonate with others as well.
But creativity takes courage.
And what I don't love is the fact that we have a very real enemy who would love nothing more than to keep us from the purposes God has for us with his powerful weapons named lies and fear.
Do I really have anything to say worth sharing? What if people perceive me this or that way?
Then there's the big one—knowing God has given you a certain passion, ability, or gifting, but telling yourself that you still have to develop that gift, that God will use you in the future when you're older. I'll do that someday. It's like subconsciously waiting for an invitation.
I'm learning that sometimes you just have to jump before you feel ready, to do it before you know you can. You can always improve and grow once you get started, but that's not possible if you never start. If I'm always telling myself "someday," when does that someday turn into today?
I'm too good at allowing busyness to take over, failing to make time for the things that make me come alive; and it's all too easy for me to let the enemy's lies silence and paralyze me. But what good does it do to keep my creativity inside? I don't want to miss the joy of living in the fullness and boldness of who God created me to be. And I don't want you to either.
I want to start writing again simply for of the joy of creating. I want to experience God's pleasure in this gift He's given me, free from fear. What is one practical step you can take today towards cultivating or expressing one of your God-given passions? The world will be better for having experienced it.
Ready or not, here I come!