My son Jakin, 2 years old, will jump from anything when I am near, whether I am ready or not to catch him or protect him from harm. He's too young (and has been too successful in his jumping) to think that his dad won't come through for him when he's on the edge of a "cliff" (be it the side of swimming pool, the arm of a couch or chair, or the side of a bunk bed).
If you can get past the "floweriness" of what is about to come out of my e-pen, and the attached video clip link, you will enjoy another glimpse into my deep heart for you, but even more for "us" -- the us that has been called together, called to jump in actual faith, and called to live in ways we have not known or considered possible thus far.
I couldn't help but think of this staff when I watched the video link...(and you may have to read this, watch the video, then read it again).
Children, all of us...at least Jesus says that we are supposed to be. And that we cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven without being such, either.
But we children have forgotten. We have pretend to be adults and have been and are still daily about our life's busy-ness. Even if it is in the name of Christ, even if it is in our ministry and service to the church, we often go about doing our busy, powerless things.
Some of us living safely behind a mask, always deciding whether, when, and how to take it off or put it back on.
Some us are sleeping, unaware of the community around us and our need for real connection with them.
Some of us are out there hanging out, around many, many people, but still alone.
Some of us are building things from the material that happens to surround us because it is there, and because it feel productive, and others even admire it.
Some of us are working hard, and even together with another, but maybe doing something that is more destructive than true.
But Jesus passes by, and is still passing by, into our world and calling for our attention with his little drum. He is calling for our attention from what we are doing, and to himself and where he is going. Asking us to line up to His "beat". To go where he goes, just like he is going. To be like him in what he is doing and what he is going to do.
Although it is what grabs our attention, and is the sound that we march to, the actual drum beat he uses isn't the point. It's not the drum we follow, but the Drummer. And the leaving of what we were doing isn't the point, either. While it is great to stop doing the things that are useless, he didn't pass by to just stop us, he passed by to get us going. Yes, he has intentions for us. Incredible intentions.
If we follow him, it will be to a nearby cliff. He looks up at the cliff and invites us to do the same. The cliff has always been there, we just never look at it like is. We look at it as a dangerous place. Beautiful to look from, but dangerous, threatening accidental death if you get too close, and guaranteeing it if you were to jump.
But he looks at it differently. He looks at is as a means to an end...no, maybe as an entry point to a beginning. The beginning of what? The beginning of our becoming what he intends for us.
And he intends for us to fly. He intends for us to experience his Father and each other in ways that can not be experienced in our fleshly activity, even if that activity is done in Christ's name, even if that activity is done together.
The problem is we don't know how to fly. We don't even know if flying is realistic or if it really is God's will. And we don't know if anyone else with us is really about to jump and find out.
So Jesus comes himself, once and for all 2000 years ago, but over and over with each of us each day, and he calls us to follow him where he leads...off the cliff, into our fear, against the laws of nature, in order to experience together, with him, His Father's unbelievable power and love.
As I personally continue my journey towards the "life of flying" with God and with you, I am always tempted to stay on the cliff and just call it 'flying with God'...and it seems I can find plenty of people to agree with me. But, alone with God, there is no one to impress or convince but me, and I always must look down at my feet and see that they are still often safely standing on land. And even though the view from the cliff is awesome, my heart of hearts knows that the cliff is not there to give me an great view...it's there to give me my launching spot.
Following Jesus is what I want to do, because I love his love for me so much and want to be just like him. But another powerful motivation for me to follow him is represented right at the end of the video, the little one who walks behind the main group up to the edge, hesitates to get his footing, and then jumps. That little boy overwhelmed me with thoughts of Jakin, my youngest son, who would so blindly follow me anywhere even if it looked impossible. Threatening views don't look threatening to him when I am there.
He trusts me (and others want to). Where am I leading him? To the freedom of Christ that comes only by following Christ off the cliff of fear and weakness into incredible, unbelievable life? Or to a fraudulent "pretty good life" that he too can grow up into adult-likeness and learn to effectively present it as the incredible, unbelievable life?
I don't know what the creator of this video clip intended, but when I lost myself in it (a fairly cool endeavor in and of itself), the above is what came to me. Check it out, if you are so compelled. Consider this another invitation to you to try something you haven't before...jumping, if you will...and seeing if God ends up being there in it for you like He was for me. I'd really love to hear what (or who) you find.
In any event, know that I love you all, and am grateful for the common following we are doing, and the flying we work to believe is possible.