So yesterday was Lynn and Josh’s birthday. What did we do? We spent the better part of an evening putting together a trampoline. Yep that’s right Lynn wanted a trampoline for her birthday. Just kidding, it was for Josh. Assembling a trampoline is quite a procedure — two instruction books, 96 springs, a handful of screws, lots of non-rustable metal, safety nets, and the bouncy mat.
But here is what I noticed, trampolines come with a lot of rules — at least ours did. I’m not talking about assembly rules, I’m talking about usuage rules. Like — NO JUMPING. Well okay, you can jump, but there is NO… jumping high, jumping with others, jumping with balls, jumping that leads to flips, jumping that includes twists, did I say no jumping with others? In other words to use the trampoline properly, you can go on by yourself — as long as you weigh less than 250 pounds and are older than 6 — and do one of four moves…
- 1) Jump from your feet and land on your feet. (Don’t go too high.)
- 2) Jump from your feet and land on your knees.
- 3) Jump from your feet and land on your butt.
- 4) Jump from your feet and land on your stomach.
Once you have mastered these four moves you are now ready to go back to your ps3 and live vicariously through something that has no possibility of ending in pain. Trust me. I havc four children. On more than one occasion I have told my kids to “be careful.” On more than one occasion I have asked God to “keep my kids safe.” On more than one occasion I have told them not to run with scissors.
I’m really not advocating thrill-seeking, risk-taking behavior. But I would like to suggest that if we think that the primary goal of life is to be safe, we may miss the life we are trying to save. If the only adventure in life we seek is of the Disney-ride variety, (man-made thrills within boundaries) we may miss seeing God at work.
So here is what I’m suggesting — go ahead and do a flip. Bounce a little higher than you should, tuck your knees up under your chin, and turn. You may not land on your feet the first few times, in fact if you are a little concerned about it, ask someone to help you. But ultimately it’s up to you to take the first step. Go ahead — do a flip.
(You understand I’m also being metaphorical here, right? As in take a chance.. don’t always play it safe.. control doesn’t necessarily lead to life.. safety may not be God’s #1 priority..) So..
- – Do a flip in your neighborhood by reaching out to someone that hasn’t smiled at you.
- – Do a flip at work by offering a lunch-time Bible study.
- – Do a flip in your career by considering that you might chase a dream.
- – Do a flip in your relationship with God by going on a short-term mission trip.
I won’t guarantee your safety, your success, or your sanity. But I do know that Jesus once said (something like this) that if we try to hang onto our lives we’ll lose life — but if we open up and let go of what we are trying to hang onto — we may paradoxically find our arms full of life. So go ahead — do a flip. In fact do it with a friend.