Sometimes You Just Have to Jump
My dear friend and “adopted” sister reminded me this week of an adventure we had, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t written about it here yet.
A few years ago, she and I went hiking in Red Rock Canyon in the Mojave Desert (California). When we set out, we really didn’t know where we were going, so we didn’t tell anyone where we would be—and this was pre-cellphone.We spent a couple of hours hiking around, just exploring as directions looked interesting. We jumped across crevices, climbed up small sections, and slid down others.
All was going well until we got to a spot we hadn’t expected. We’d slid down a rock face that was a dozen feet or so high, and then realized we had no place to go. The spot we’d slid down was too high to climb back up. There was no path that took us anywhere else. The only option we had was straight down a sheer face about 20 feet or so. That was bad enough, but at the bottom there was a small, sandy area (maybe 2 feet by 2 feet), which was surrounded by jagged rocks and cliff walls. Even worse, there was a thunderstorm coming—we could see it from where we were stranded—and the nearest humans were hundreds of yards away, much to far to hear us.
We sat there for at least a half an hour trying to figure out what to do (it didn’t help that I was very afraid of heights!), and finally concluded that we couldn’t wait for someone to rescue us. The one open route we had was the one we had to take: jump and hope for the best.
After delaying as long as we could, we jumped. She went first, since I was just too afraid of heights to do. Fortunately, she landed pretty close to where we needed to, but she did slip and fall, too, so she tore her jeans and twisted her ankle. I went next and managed to hit the right spot. And not 5 minutes after we got back to her car, the storm hit!
The twisted ankle was bad, but things certainly could have been a lot worse! Of course, what would have been even better was to not find ourselves in that situation to begin with. Sometimes it happens anyway, though.
When you’re stranded in a place like that, it’s sometimes helpful to figure out how you got there, but often we dwell on that far too long. The storm was coming and how we got there was less important than getting down.
So, regardless of how you got there, what ledge are you standing on right now and what is that sweet little sandy spot you have to target to not land on the rocks or hit the walls? What is the next step (or leap) you need to take—whether it’s the one you wanted to at first or not? Don’t take a risky, scary, possibly painful jump if you don’t have to (if we’d had another way, we would have taken it!), but ask God what that next step is, and commit ahead of time to doing what He tells you. Identify what that target spot is, do your best to position yourself for the ideal landing, and once you’ve done the best you can, jump.
It’s too far to go back now.
Question: If you have a jump you have to make, what is it? If you’ve already done it, tell us about it so we can learn from you and be encouraged. Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.