Adults look but never leap

I’ve never been a huge fan of trampolines, especially as an adult. There is something about the lack of control one has when others are jumping next to them that just puts knots in my stomach.

Maybe because when I was about 22 years old, I found myself with an ankle swollen to three times the normal size after a fun “jump off” with my friend Chad and walked around in an aircast for weeks. Yes, I’m pretty certain that absolutely has something to do with it.

My boys, on the other hand, would love it if the whole world was a giant trampoline. They would run and jump everywhere — flipping, twisting, turning and casting all their trust in the rebound, knowing and believing that with each bounce the momentum won’t stop, the adrenaline will keep them going and they’ll always bounce back — even if they stumble.

Something happens when we “grow up” that takes the trust right out of the jump. We quit doing it. We quit jumping like we should, which means we quit trusting like we should, too. The next time you’re near a trampoline, notice all of the “grownups” just watching. Why, as adults, do we reach this place where we are afraid to jump or trust that we’re going to land safely? Why do we not want to take risks in front of a crowd? Why do we watch instead of participate? Life isn’t a spectator sport.

One of the last times I took my kids to the trampoline park, I questioned why I hadn’t brought my sweats with me as I watched their joy and happiness explode with every bound. And then I laughed to myself just picturing what it would look like jumping with my boys while all the other “watchers” watched this grown woman absolutely make a fool out of herself.

I can’t jump worth a darn any more. In fact, I’d be out of breath before I could even get out of the first pit — I’m sure of it. The point is though, I shouldn’t be afraid to jump. I should not be listening to the loudest voice in my head, but the truest one. I may not be as young as I once was or as physically capable of bouncing from one surface to another with ease, but there certainly are a lot of areas in my life where “jumping” should be the only option. Participating rather than watching, doing instead of observing.

In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than just watching and not doing anything about it. So let’s jump. It may be grabbing a pen and a journal to start writing or sketching or even making a list of the areas we need to be bolder and braver in — without the fear of failure. It may be pulling out a map and circling the places we need to be jumping to.

It may be a list of names of people we’d like to have jumping with us. Whatever it is, we need to do it. Let’s jump and soar our way through those places where we feel like we’re sinking.

Let’s bound after those dreams we’ve hidden away because they seemed too silly to catch. Let’s glide into a new place, with a faith that trusts we’re going to land safely and securely because we know that God doesn’t compare our leaps. He simply delights in our attempts, and we should, too.

Lindsay Murdock lives in Echo and teaches in the Hermiston School District.

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