The kids were playing at a park. This was a new park we hadn’t been to before, and so that is always exciting! This park had the normal playground, but then to the side – we spotted it. It was the COOLEST tree ever!! It was huge, but not huge in the up direction – instead the massive limbs spread out wide and low. The kind of tree that every kid dreams to climb on because of the thick branches, and the ease of getting up quickly, and most importantly, the ability to JUMP from branch to branch!! It was truly a cool tree!!
The two older kids got right on it, while the younger two stayed down to watch. But it didn’t take long before all 4 kids were climbing around, swinging from the branches, calling for help, and having a great time. The 2 year old showed no fear once she started going. In fact, I needed to climb up there at one point because she was going higher and higher with no hesitation. She had no worries that she could fall and fall pretty far at that. Why didn’t she have fear? Because she had never experienced the pain of a fall. Isn’t it amazing to think back in our lives the enthusiasm we used to carry before we knew we could get hurt? Or the way we would love before we knew we could get hurt? Pain changes us!
Anyhow, while I watched the kids, I listened to them encourage each other, make up fun pirate games, and laugh with pure joy. At one point, the oldest showed some hesitation. When I started to see why, it was because she was watching her brother jump from one branch to another, and although she joined in on the fun, she got to where it was a pretty far jump and she stopped. He kept going, but she looked at me, looked at him, and said, “I’m not sure I can do that one”. I asked her why, and she said because it’s farther than the others. All the while, her fearless brother looked at her, and said, “Madison- it’s not that far away, and besides, if you do fall, the ground isn’t rocky…it won’t hurt that bad.”.
Usually my kids teach me lessons, and the lessons come at the perfect time as I am facing some things in my life. If I will listen and learn from these experiences, I see God working powerfully to nudge me in one way or another. This time, it was about taking some steps of faith. It was about learning from past pain. It was about trusting in God even when I had some fear of falling. What I sat there and realized is that I often won’t jump from branch to branch because I fear the pain I experienced before….maybe a few months before, a few years before, or even back to college days! Those sort of pains that stick with us and change us. But what I also realized while sitting there that day in the warm sun, under the tree branches and giggles of my kids, was that it’s usually not that far to jump when jumping in faith. Plus, if I do “fall” in my life, as long as I am trusting in God for the jump, it probably won’t hurt as bad as I anticipate. He always has a way of teaching us lessons and helping us to see the best in every situation, even if we don’t quite land on the branch we were aiming for when we originally jumped.
So today, wherever you may be in life…whether you are standing on the ground deciding if you should climb a tree, or if you are all the way at the top of the tree, or if you are contemplating jumping to a new “branch” in your life through a leap of faith, just know that every choice and every time we take action while trusting in Him – we will make it through. He will help us, show us, teach us, and pick us up when we fall. Because as we walk in Him, in all reality…any leap is really “not that far” as my little boy would say!
Happy climbing and happy jumping!!
P31 Fitness, Founder