A brief moment on the side of a granite wall in Maine came back to me today. It was a cold, windy, and wet day. Whatever warmth had been there, had left, chased away from the push of a new evening. I was standing with one foot in a toe hole in the granite with my arms arched in a curve. Even though I was more than sixty feet off the ground, I felt strangely secure and comfortable – as long as I did not think about moving. The challenge was that I needed to move if I was going to complete the climb.
“What do I do next?”
“Stretch out your arms horizontally.”
Jump? Are they kidding? As I looked to my right I could see a rope that was beyond my fingers. Inches, feet, or meter, it did not matter. It looked impossible.
I can sense the call to let go of certain assumptions. The invitation is clear. Think with an open mind. Hear as if you have never listened before. Trust, have faith. Jump.
Jump is so easy to say. It is even easier to write. I listen to myself and wonder if I will be candid about how I hear the invitation. To those giving me the advice, “Shake them up, God! Show them how silly they look.” (Psalm 9.20) To anyone who thinks it is easy, “try it and tell me how it feels.” To myself, a quiet word; “let go. Let yourself be in the moment. Take it in, pause, and jump.”
On that summer day in Maine, I looked out over Penobscot Bay and took in the smells, colors, and sense of what was. I paused for what my soul felt was an eternity. I jumped and did not look back.
The lesson of that day is the invitation I sense for you and me today. God is inviting us to deliver compassion and hope in fresh ways. It is not like yesterday. There are no obvious guideposts or signs. The invitation is annoyingly brief; jump.