At retreat a few weekends ago, Jay told a story about going on a hiking trip with his friend and a group of people led by a tour guide. Along the way, they stopped at a couple cliffs above a pool of water and the tour guide presented two options: they could either jump off the 20 foot high smaller, reasonable cliff or… take the massive leap off a 60 foot high towering edge of doom. One excited shout for the larger cliff led to other and yet another until the group somehow found themselves on top of a 60 foot ledge, ready to plummet into the waves seemingly miles below.
The first to take the plunge was Jay’s friend, the manliest man known to man, followed right behind by Jay himself. “Manly Man” took one step close to the edge and froze in sheer terror and horror at the sight below. He couldn’t do it. The jump was impossible, ludicrous, a quick and torturous method of suicide. Everyone behind him started getting noticeably antsy. Why isn’t he moving? It can’t be that bad can it? Sparks of ignorance from the crowd culminated into yells of encouragement while the tour guide offered tips on the proper diving form, emphasizing the importance of not looking down to avoid a grisly scenario below.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, “Manly Man” took a step and leaped, disappearing quickly over the edge with the girliest scream known to man. Then an audible, lingering silence filled the air.
It was Jay’s turn. He crept up to the front and took one look down, almost pissing his pants. There was absolutely no, no, no way was he going to even attempt this plunge of death. Right as he about convinced himself to save his own life, his friend’s cry all the way down from the water, at the utmost top of his lungs, echoed up to Jay’s eardrums: “Jump! Do it! It’s the best feeling ever!”
With that, Jay could do nothing but take a deep breath and jump. And he did it again. And again. And again.
And it really was the best feeling ever.
One of the practical applications of this story is for us to learn to dive into Jesus’ love and submit fully to Him, despite fear of the unknown or anxieties of an uncomfortable lifestyle, and find that doing so, indeed provides complete fulfillment. Yet, what stood out to me the most was Jay’s friend giving out the encouragement necessary to stimulate that step off the ledge. He experienced such joy and unexplainable happiness from God’s grace, that he couldn’t help but have that transformation overflow in his speech to others.
It makes me wonder about my own life and how life-changing and transforming I claim my walk with God is, and yet my speech to others seems stifled of encouragement, devoid of praising the undeserved blessings I received from Him. How can we live life not sharing the wonderful work God has done in our lives or not be ecstatic to jump at the opportunity to encourage fellow believers?
For some reason, it’s always extremely difficult for me to openly converse about God to others. Maybe it’s my shy nature, my fear of being judged or ridiculed, my desire to not want to sound hokey or fake or just blatant disobedience. Regardless, my experience with God’s abundant love should shatter those obstacles and help me reach out to others, to love them as Christ does. And He’s been slowly yet surely peeling back the scabs that cover my eyes, to a deep understanding that to love others is to really love Christ.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Author: Micah Shyu