Jumping Without A Net

trapeze artist

I ran 6 miles this morning.  Those of you who know me would say, “So what?”  But I haven’t run that far in a couple of months.  My leg is the culprit, and my own confidence.  I realized this morning how much crap I’ve been holding onto.

You could say I had a runner’s epiphany.  There was an article about them in “Runners World” magazine.  This writer would come back from his runs and say things to his wife like, “Honey!  I had this great idea!  We should put an enormous telescope in the backyard!” Or,  my personal favorite, “We need a bounce house for adults.”  I still want one.

I think the Lord is calling me up higher.  I can see glimpses of the person I want to be.  I read back through my first post of 2012 and realized it’s almost all come true.  I have become more available.  I have become less selfish – though not entirely so – it’s an ongoing process in this life.  I’ve also been called very original a lot this year.  At first, I didn’t find it very enlightening.  I didn’t – and don’t – seem to fit well into anyone’s particular mold or brand.  But now, I get it.  If you’re unique, you’ve no one to measure up to.  If you’re one-of-a-kind, you can be whoever you feel you need to be.  What a gift!  Nobody can compare you to someone else, because it’s like apples and oranges.  Both are fruits, but nobody makes orange pie.  By the same token, nobody uses apple zest to flavor baked goods.  And now somebody will comment on my blog and provide recipe links for both of those.  Whatever.

The point is that I want to be all the I’m meant to be.  For me, as a Christian, in part that means becoming more conformed to the image of Christ.  I need more fruits of the Spirit in my life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (oho boy!).  But it also means being the best Susan I can be.  As the saying goes, “Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.”  As the obedient firstborn, I wanted to be somebody else.  I wanted so badly to “fit in”, to have my life-path make sense.  Thankfully, the part of me that is real would not go quietly.  It questioned.  It analyzed.  It preferred other things and had a different perspective.  It bucked the trend.

You know what?  Being different is not wrong.  It is not bad.  It does not mean that you are rebellious.  It only means there is variety in the world.  God made you that way.  You don’t have to apologize for not following a beaten path to a predictable goal.  You are not ungodly if you think for yourself.

For decades, I have deadened myself to purpose and drive and dreams.  I’ve used food.  I’ve used exercise.  I’ve used the scouring whip of condemnation.  I think I’ve even used past jobs to create some kind of meaning.  I don’t want to do that anymore.  We Westerners like a linear path.  But what if it’s been circular, or loopy, or even maze-like all along?  Does that make it less valid if it gets us where we need to go and we learn all we can?

Trapeze artists don’t use a net during performance.  They expect to be caught; they trust.  They let go of the swing, soar through the air, and clasp hands with their partner.  They flip and swing again, and again, beauty and grace in every line.  Their joy is palpable.  They are unafraid.  This new year, I will strive to do the same.

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