We had lots of fun jumping off swings the other day. Well, I mean, Sis swung, I took pictures, and the boys jumped off swings.
They jumped for distance, first trying to out-do each other and then our older neighbor. But after that appeal wore off, they went for style. Call it playground performance art. Like the photo above: Ninja-style karate kick jump. Hiiii-YAH!
And it struck me right there, watching my beautiful blessings hurl their bodies through the sky, laughter floating up like a sweet offering of gratitude: swing-jumping is a lot like faith.
You rely on the swing to hold you, and you can enjoy a pretty decent ride. But the truly exhilarating moment is between when you release the swing and when your feet hit the ground. You trust that you will land safely; that’s the hope of faith.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
You know the ground is there, but you just haven’t reached it yet.
As I started looking back at these photos, I noticed something else about the playground. No matter which piece of equipment my children were on, they never really looked at the equipment.
If you want to go across the monkey bars, you don’t look at where your hands are or where they’ve been. If you are going down the slide, you don’t look straight down. If you want to swing successfully, you don’t try to focus your eyes on the swing. And if you’re going to jump, you sure as heck don’t look back.
You look ahead.
So if God is calling you to jump off your swing, to leave a place of perceived safety and security and hurtle through the unknown in faith of a good landing, take heart. Because as sure as the ground will be there to meet the swing-jumper, God will be there to meet you. In fact, he is there the whole time; you just haven’t landed yet.
Our pastor recently shared a quote from the movie We Bought A Zoo:
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.”
I love that.
So there’s my plan: look ahead, jump, and leave the landing up to God. [Oh! And actually enjoy the thrill of the in-between!] Won’t you join me, wheeeeeee!