I started writing this entry about two months ago. Normally, when I write the words flow quickly and smoothly, however, not this time. I had the idea to write about taking risks in life and how we should never be too afraid to jump. It wasn’t until I learned how to put my money where my mouth is that I was able to finish this entry. Funny how that works! So, here it is, two months in the making. Let me know what you think. -Danny
This is the trampoline in my backyard. It was a gift from my mom to our children. I remember the day we got it, they were so excited, they just couldn’t wait to jump. It took a couple of hours to put it together. About every 2 or 3 minutes we’d hear, “Daddy, can we jump yet?” My wife and I got so tired of saying, “No! Not yet!” It became somewhat humorous in that our two kids would say in unison, “Daddy, can we jump yet?” My wife and I began to respond in unison, “No! Not yet!”
Because everything is a song to me, the whole time we were putting the trampoline together, I kept singing Van Halen’s song, “Jump.” I heard these lyrics in my head over and over:
“Might as well jump! Jump! Might as well jump! Go ahead, jump! Jump! Go ahead, jump!”
I remember the first time I heard that song. I was in 8th grade and my biggest risk in life was trying to get away with a mullet that was 3 inches longer than what the school handbook deemed appropriate.
Now, back to the trampoline. Once we got the trampoline and safety net assembled it was interesting to see how the kids warmed up to it. At first, my wife and I had to sit in the middle and not jump because we bounced them too high. It took a quite some time for the kids to let us jump with them simultaneously, but once that happened, it was on! We all loved to see how high we could launch one another into the air. Then we got brave. Mere jumping was no longer enough, so we began to experiment with different types of stunts.
It seems that my kids will try any kind of jump or stunt now but they rely heavily upon the safety net. I constantly find myself telling them, “Stop relying so much on that net! One day it’s going to break and you’ll fall and hurt yourselves.” I’ve often thought to myself, “What would happen if that safety net wasn’t there?”
That thought leaves me asking the question, “What are the safety nets in my own life?” In other words, “What am I relying far too heavily upon to catch me when I’m jumping?” It’s easy to jump when you know there’s a net, but not so easy without one!
I have lots of safety nets. I can find lots of excuses to justify not jumping. One of my biggest excuses is disguised under the auspice of Scripture. Psalm 38:15 is a verse I often hide behind, “I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.”
I spend a lot of time waiting on God to give me answers. I want so badly to remain in God’s will and do the right thing that I pray for some kind of sign or direction. But a lot of times those things never come. So, I stay on the trampoline, confined by my own safety net.
Today it finally hit me. Often, when I think I am waiting on God, the reality is that He is waiting on me. That’s right, I believe God spends a lot of time waiting on us. He is waiting on us to do the next right thing. He’s waiting on us to stop making excuses. He’s waiting on us to jump!
The biggest thrills in life come from taking the greatest risks. Ask any sky-diver! God-sized opportunities require God-sized jumps, forcing us to abandon our own safety nets.
If you and I want to experience life to the fullest we’ve got to be willing to take risks! It’s a big world out there. You can either jump or stay in your own backyard, on your own trampoline, surrounded by your own net.
Henry James once wrote, “Be not afraid of life, but believe that life is worth the living and your belief will help create that fact.”
What’s your safety net? What are you hiding behind? What are your excuses?
“Might as well jump. Jump! Might as well jump. Go ahead, jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump.”