Hold Your Nose and Jump!

As a young teenager, I remember hot summer days when we would load up my dad’s Pontiac Catalina with friends and my brother would drive us over to Youngsville (‘Biggest Little Town on the Map!’) to go swimming.  Now, in my family, swimming usually meant driving out to Chapman Dam State Park and swimming in the lake.  But Youngsville had recently acquired something Warren didn’t have yet — a municipal pool!  And this pool had diving boards — two of them.  A diving board beat trying to dive off of Dad’s shoulders at the lake, any day.

One of the diving boards was the standard size, but the other was a ‘high dive’ — well, we all called it that.  By Olympic standards I’m sure it wasn’t the big platform dive from which competitors perform twisting, two-and-a-half whatevers.  Thinking back now, I’m guessing it was 14 feet or so.  Regardless of the height, it was a thrill to pad out to the end of that board, stare down at the water below, and jump.  Hitting the water was enough force to, shall we say, re-arrange your swimwear.  It was just fun, in a scary sort of way.

I’ve had times in my life that have felt a lot like diving off that board in Youngsville on a hot summer day.  They’ve been times of transition, times when the Lord opens a door for a new direction.  It happened when my husband was called to ministry and we moved to the mid-west to attend seminary, without seeing where we would be living.  It happened when we accepted a call to another church, after serving eleven years in our first assignment.  After we said ‘yes’ to God, and before the moving van pulled up to the new house, in between there, it felt like jumping off a high dive.  It’s an experience of faith.

You see, as long as I’m standing on the board with my toes hanging over the edge, I’m safe… because, as embarrassing as it might be, I can always go back and make my way down the ladder.  It’s not until I hold my nose and spring off with my leg muscles and become airborne that I truly exercise my faith.  I  have to believe that there is enough water in the pool for me to land safely (will God provide — be there for me in this new challenge?) and, that I will  know how to swim once I get down there (can God use and empower me to do what He’s asking?).  Because of my previous experiences with pools and swimming (faith and following God),  I know deep down that the answer to both of those questions is YES!  But I can’t learn that, I don’t fully experience it, until I let go and jump.

Hebrews chapter 11 shares lots of ‘diving board’ stories.  They’re worth reading.  Here’s one:  “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8 (NIV)

That’s quite a high-dive!  How about you? Are you ready to jump in?

Copyright Mary E. Egidio 2010 – Permission is granted to share this work, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.  (You can share it, but tell who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t try to sell it)

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cindy on July 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Mary – REALLY enjoyed reading this writing. When I was checking my FB I saw Nancy Breen’s comment about your blogs so I went to check it out. I am so glad I did! I like to do little thoughts and devotions like this…maybe I will try my hand in it too. Thanks so much for sharing. I plan on checking out your previous writings. Love ya!


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