Sometimes I just want to go there. To be in that place where nothing else seems to matter.
I remember the cool sand between my toes, the initial shock of the cold water as it ran up to my feet. I would carefully walk out into the deep. Soon the icy water consumed my feet, my legs…up to my waist. I was almost there. The rocks beneath the water—some sharp, some smooth—would guide my feet. Just a few more steps. Finally, dry ground. Cold and dripping wet from the journey, I looked around. It was only the beginning, but it was beautiful!
Up and around the path, overlooking the superior sea, I stepped with care so that I would not slip and descend to the rocks below. Through the trees I hiked, up the hill to higher ground. I saw in the distance, hills and trees and iron-ore ships. They looked so small, so insignificant. I carried on, over boulders, up and down the trail.
I arrived on the back side of the island, my favorite place to be. I scanned the horizon, miles and miles of blue, as the waters met the sky. Below, the mighty waves were crashing. The breeze was cool as the sun warmed my back, just a few hours prior to sunset.
I stared down intently, twenty-five to thirty feet, through the crystal clear waters at the giant boulders resting in the deep. I stood nervously awaiting the right moment. I heard my self continually urge me to stay: ”It’s comfortable here. You have a great view, warm sunshine, and a cool breeze.”
But my heart was moved to go. I had to do it. I didn’t know when. I didn’t know how. To be honest, I was scared. So without thinking another thought, the muscles in my feet and legs launched me from that rock, as I took one last breath. I was in the air for what seemed like forever, as gravity drew me to the earth. I anticipated the icy waters below. My feet hit the water, and before I knew it, my body was deep in the superior sea. As my breath held within, my heart raced while the forty-degree waters both shocked and refreshed my human shell. I kicked and reached and pulled toward the surface. Seconds later, my head emerged to take a giant breath of air.
I was so cold, it was hard to breathe. I looked at where I had been as I swam to the rocky shore. And I thought to myself, “What if I listened to my self? What if I stayed where I was, comfortable and safe? What if I didn’t take the risk?” I guess then, it wouldn’t have been faith. Because if I stayed where I was, I would have missed it. I would have missed the adventure; the journey would not have been complete. I would have never known what it could have been.
Life is a lot like jumping from a rocky cliff into icy waters. Every day, we are faced with opportunities to take risks for Jesus. We can stay where we feel most comfortable and safe, where our needs will most likely be met. Or, we can launch ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God by following Jesus, wherever He takes us.
I’ve begun to ask myself a question every day: “Mike, are you ‘all in’ as you follow Jesus?”
I dare you to ask that question of yourself today. Are you ‘all in’ as you follow Jesus?
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27, ESV)
“…yet I wholly followed the Lord my God.” (Joshua 14:8, ESV)