Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Jump In With Both Feet (11/28/19)
TITLE: The Humiliation of Defeat
By Laurie Staples
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I was born smack dab in the middle of two athletic brothers. I tried and failed at every that came so easy to them. I’ve knocked out teeth, ripped open flesh, split my head open and bruised myself up more times than I can count. If I ever go bald, a patchwork of stitch-marks and odd bumps will tell the story of a whole lot of humiliating defeats. Still, in spite of my older brother telling me I was the most uncoordinated person on the face of the planet , I never gave up—I was all in—desperate to experience “the thrill of victory.”
When we were little we belonged to a swim club. There were three diving boards: high, medium, and low. Almost from the first day we joined, my brothers were diving off the high dive. They progressed on to all sorts of impressive, daring dives…worthy of any diving team.
It wasn’t until the end of that first summer that I mustered up the courage to take the ultimate plunge; I would dive off the high dive. I climbed the steps to the top, walked carefully to end of the board and froze, paralyzed with fear. Kids in line behind me started to get impatient, “Come on! Hurry up! Jump already!”
My little brother felt sorry for me. “You don’t have to dive, Laurie. Just jump. It’s easy.”
But I didn’t want to just jump, I wanted to prove to my brothers that I could dive off of it—just like them. I took a deep breath, and stepped off the board. Unfortunately, mid-air I decided to turn my jump into a dive. What it turned into was a half dive, half belly smacker. Honestly, my first thought was that I’d somehow managed to hit the cement.How could entering mere water hurt that bad? My brothers were bent over laughing. It was a tricky dive, alright, and it was all I could do keep from crying.
The medium board offered the most bounce and was used the most. My younger brother did a dive where he would stand at the end of the board, and with his back facing the water, he would bounce up high in the air and enter the water cleanly in front of the board. I told him I wanted to try it and he was more than willing to coach me, “Just jump up high, push off with your toes and dive forward.”
It sounded easy enough. I walked to the end, turned around, my heels slightly off the board, got a good bounce and dove …into the diving board. Humiliatingly enough, my body stayed on the board. I didn’t want the pitying attention I was drawing. I didn’t even pick my head up, just did a slow roll off the board, plopped into the water and swam nonchalantly over to the ladder. Move on friends, nothing to see here.
My brother was genuinely concerned, “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Of course! It barely hurt at all,” I lied. Just another humiliating defeat.
Sadly, I never did feel the “thrill of victory.” Not in any sporting activities, anyway.
But the only victory that really matters was wonfor me. With humility, Jesus took on all my sin and conquered death that I might live victoriously not only in this life but in the life to come.
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