Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Love is a Jump

I remember standing there at Smith River in Northern California, perched high above the water, trying to will myself to jump. It was the highest I had ever jumped before. I mean I had jumped from a puny, wimp rock at Applegate Lake in Southern Oregon, but this was the big time. My brother, the crazy, fear suppressing, thrill-seeking, man that he is, was urging me to jump, as he continually walked by me, jumped, walked back up, jumped, etc. It's a difficult task to stand there, 50ft, 70ft, 100ft off the water, looking down, unable to see through the water below, and urge yourself to jump. Even after watching someone else jump and knowing the water is safe, even after talking yourself into doing it, there is still a point where your leg muscles just won't cross over that threshold. Your mind relentlessly evaluates it more and more as time goes on. Sometimes you think you can will yourself over, other times you sit on the rock hoping time will pass faster and no one will notice you until you leave.

I heard this analogy at a conference I was at in Colorado Springs called Desperation Conference. It was by a speaker who belonged to the Bethel church in Redding, CA. Maybe you've never been rock jumping before and don't relate to the experience; maybe that doesn't even scare you. Maybe it's jumping out of an airplane, maybe it's boarding an airplane. Think of something where you get there, trying to will yourself to do it, but can't seem to cross that line of no return. Using the rock jumping, the speaker was saying there is a line right in front of your toes, that once you jump over, you can't return. He called that line Holiness, but I think you could put a number of words there, passion for God, desire to follow God, trust in God. Yes, holiness is the outcome of all of those, so really it can all go hand in hand.

You can stand on that rock and say that you love God. You can just stand there, acting like a Christian, working like a Christian, talking like a Christian. But there is a difference in standing on the rock and saying you love God, and jumping off the rock for Him. On the rock, you are safe, comfortable, where as the leap, it takes faith, trust, obedience. God is leading all of us to leap off that rock, to leave everything behind in obedience to follow Him. And when you jump, there isn't any going back. You can't love God and be unholy. jumping off that rock means giving everything to God, and that in essence is holiness. There is no midway point. You either jump and end up in the water, joyous, ready to do anything, or you are still on the rock wondering why life doesn't feel quite to it's potential.

Love is a jump. It's a hard jump. One that requires your whole life! It can be scary giving up control of your life. After you jump, (in the words of Hitch) "you just drop like a rock. . . wondering the whole way down . . . why the hell did I jump". But then you hit the water and you realize God's love for you, His path for you, are far better than anything you could have ever imagined. You realized He is working a far more intricate path than anything you could have experienced sitting on the rock, acting like you were in the water. Go all in, cross that line of no return