Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Cannon Ball

When I was around 8 years old, I taught myself how to swim. As a kid, I spent so much time at the pool with my friends that my skin constantly appeared at least three shades darker than its natural tint. I think the only activities that proved themselves worthy reasons for a break were food, bike riding, and the great need to have dance parties at my friend’s house while singing backup for Paula Abdul. Anyways I never took lessons and it drove me crazy playing in the shallow end of the pool when others did not. At first I would just hold on to the edges and kind of scoot over realizing that going deeper was risky and exciting and I of course wanted to be with my friends. Eventually I would let go of the sides a few seconds at a time to sort of scare myself into swimming. It didn’t take long for me to decide cannon balling into the pool would be a good choice even though I barely knew how to keep my head above water. I figured if other people could do it then so could I. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but it’s how I learned to swim.

I wish my desire to go take a risk continued to hold the same pull as it did back then. Sometimes it seems that I am content to linger and play in the shallow end, never bothering to care what else might await me. I don’t want to do the work necessary to figure out what is on the other side. This is all well and good I suppose until it occurs to me that I am bored and that life has grown almost too comfortable and routine. I begin to hold on and safely scoot over to what appears to be more exciting and full of possibilities only to decide it’s not worth the risk and the fear of drowning takes over as I quickly go back to what I know. But lately I’ve been wondering what is the big deal already? What is really at stake? Will life really end if I fail? I never thought of the potential of drowning as a kid. I guess I realized that people do; I just never put too much thought into that risk. I certainly preferred the challenge anyways. I want that childlike carefree spirit again! The one that realizes I could end up worse than when I began but takes the risk anyways.

So rather than continuing to hold onto the sides and make baby steps into deeper water, I’ve decided to cannon ball in. I recently resigned from a job that I no longer enjoy, but has been a source of security and comfort the last few years. Though I will finish out the school year, I’m exploring a new career path. Maybe that sounds foolish to leave a guaranteed source of income, especially with the economy not looking so wonderful. And who knows I may completely fail at it, but I’ll never learn to swim if I never even try. I strongly feel God is leading me here yet I have absolutely no idea what the future holds to be honest. And somehow the uncertainty makes it that much more exciting!

Matthew 6:25-27
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

1 comment:

Chad Ethridge said...

"I want that childlike carefree spirit again! The one that realizes I could end up worse than when I began but takes the risk anyways."

Wow, great thought Sarah. It would be tragic to get to the end of your life only to realize that you'd been splashing around in the kiddy pool the whole time with floaties on your arms! Kudos for taking a step towards trusting God with your future. I have found that it is helpful to have friends who will challenge us to look beyond the horizon of our often comfortable lives and beckon us to reach for something more. I guess that's why I'll be doing a cannon ball off of a plane next month with a few of those friends!