11 days until I turn 30 (February 18th).The last month I’ve been reflecting on the last 30 years and gearing up for the next 30. Reflecting on the past 3 decades I have learned a couple of lessons that I pray to not re-learn going forward. Over the next couple of days I will have a sereis of lessons that I have learned and or am learning that I hope to share for the soul purpose of having them published so I never forget. So this is Things going into 30 part 1.
Lesson 1: Just Jump
One of my best friends growing up, Chris, is a smart, darring, humble, shrewd human being. Yet I had never seen such a confident terrestrial male reduced to such a hesitant, afraid mush-ball of worry as when we went cliff diving in high school. Most of us hiked up the cliffs, dove off, hiked up, dove off etc. I’ll never forget how the face of the most confident guy I had ever met filled with such daunting bafflement as he stood at the top of the cliff and starred at the water. Four hours later after having had his fill of our taunts and friendly jabs at is lack courage he conceded and jumped. He emerged from the water having regained his confidence, “That wasn’t that bad.”
I could honestly sum up much of the last 30 years using the picture of Chris waiting to jump of the cliff. That’s not to say I didn’t jump often in life, but the emotional drama and anxiety that ensued in my heart and mind through out most of my teens and twenties was wasted energy. It was me thinking I knew how my story should be told, and when things didn’t look like the version in my head I freaked. The thing is, 100% of the time each journey, each story ended how I wanted it to. However just not in the way I thought it would. God’s promises to us are absolute. I learned that saying that was one thing, believing it was another. Take marriage for example. I spent the better part of my twenties (18-24) emoting about how I was probably never going to get married. I got so terrified that I was unloveable that in the end I got terrified of love it self. Yes, at times I have been known to have the emotional stability of a 16 year old teenage girl hoping a senior notices her and takes her to prom, but I digress.
When the women of my dreams came along, I spent the majority of our relationship staving off panic attacks because everything was going TOO well. In the end I starred at that water down below the cliff, watched it shimmer in the sunshine, took a deep breath and made the wisest decision of my life to date: I forced myself over the edge.
I emerged with a smile.
The first lesson I have learned is to jump every time I feel that terrifying irrational fear. I’m not talking about the pit in your stomach when you know something might be wrong, that’s called discernment and different from fear. I’m talking about the place where logic and God say one thing but the torrent of fear and emotion say another. When fear clouds your vision and keeps you from walking in your destiny. You have to stare that cloud in the face, and no matter how tight the grip of fear chokes, you have to use any and every last bit of energy possible and force yourself to take that leap. You can’t run from that fear, or let it overtake you. You have to take authority Jesus gave us at the cross, renounce it’s hold on you and press forward whether or not it has subsided. It’s feels like trudging through quicksand, but in the end you will conquer that fear, and emerge with a smile.
You just have to jump.