Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Jump In With Both Feet (11/28/19)
- TITLE: That Sinking Feeling
By Jack Taylor
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I don’t know if it’s a guy thing but I didn’t get up that morning planning to do anything extreme. Maybe it was the bad news that we’d lost one of our own – one of the keeners who had been taking a lot of heat over the past few years. Not everyone is ready to join up with trendsetters but this was a shocker.
Our little cohort had planned a get-a-way to regroup and grieve a little. Down time is essential for bonding and renewal. Still, we had the crowd that followed us like groupies.
They were like little robins, gulping down anything they were given. Feeding the mob was a miraculous event I hardly got used to. I was one of the gang who hoped they would all leave us alone. But they stayed like the smell of fish on your clothes.
I’d like to blame our leader for my actions later since he’s the one who kept encouraging us to jump in with both feet. “Have a little faith!” he’d say. “You figure out how we’re going to feed them all.” Somehow, things worked out.
My focus for this story though is on what happened afterward. It seems that when you keep jumping into situations with both feet that sometimes you leave your brain behind. We cleaned up after the celebration was over and headed out onto the water where we were comfortable. Dealing with more people than I can remember is not my speciality.
Sailing home was a no-brainer. We could escape the mobs and enjoy the peace of the night and the stars. Someone should have called the weatherman. We’d been on the water for less than two hours when clouds swallowed up the stars. I couldn’t see any faces but I could feel the tension settling on us like an avalanche about to let loose.
My fishing buddy John spoke first. “That breeze is getting a little stiff. We should take down the sail.”
My brother Andrew called back from the tiller. “You guys can get the oars. I’m fine where I am.”
John’s brother, James, muttered. “Figures, half of you guys don’t know how to row. You’re still going to take your turns and you better not get us going in circles. These waves are starting to splash over the bow.”
No matter who rowed, or how hard we rowed, it was like paddling in quick sand. Half of us were bailing and half of us were screaming at the rowers but we weren’t going anywhere. A brief break in the clouds didn’t slow the wind any.
Then he came. Walking through the waves – across the water. Glistening in the moonlight.
“We’re doomed!” Matthew declared. “A ghost has come to take us.”
Then the ghost spoke with that all familiar voice we knew. “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. It’s me.”
Delirium never seemed so real. Exhaustion consumed us, tearing at muscle and spirit alike. But there he was. Effortlessly walking where no human being can walk.
And that’s when I did it. “If it’s you,” I said. “Tell me to jump in with both feet and walk to you on the water.”
“Come!” He said. How can one word change your life so wildly? When someone is preparing to do something outlandish, unheard of, extreme then words like “be safe”, “be careful”, “be wise”, “wait” are words you need to hear. But “come!”
I jumped in with both feet and I did it. At least for a while. The wind slapped me out of my trance, the waves bounced on me with a reality check, and fear the size of a giant anchor grabbed hold of my soul. I had jumped in with both feet and done what no human should do and soon I was up to my neck and yelling that one word. “Help!”
Yes, he reached down and grabbed me. He got me back into the boat and safely to shore. But he gave me a taste of living on the edge which I’m not sure I’ll ever get over. Once his Spirit filled me then nothing seemed impossible.
“Peter! Heal this man. Peter, raise this dead girl. Peter, stand up to the authorities with power.”
Jesus jumped in with both feet. Why can’t I?
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