|On the road trip - pit stop Plettenburg|
Bay - South Africa
Often the things I fear are not completely obvious, they lurk just beneath the surface of reality and I am blissfully unaware but ironically steered by them. I make decisions, think thoughts, speak or remain quiet, act or choose not to and a large portion of this due to fear. Fear of what will happen if I speak or don’t, second guessing myself when I have decisions to make and the list goes on. In my reflections this holiday I have been thinking about how I have grown accustomed to this companion and how often fear is the one guiding my steps and not my faith in God or confidence in the abilities I have developed over the years.
A clear example took place this December as I joined my sister a well over due road trip. She was on a mission to let go of the old and embrace the new and she decided a good way to symbolically do this was to literally jump off a bridge. I was asked to join her – both on the road and to jump the bridge – the first I gladly agreed to the second I vehemently declined, why? I had no desire to die just now thank you – perhaps after 80 and my wrinkled behind starts wearing me down we can talk…
|The walk under the bridge|
|The Bloukrans Bridge from the viewing deck|
The energy on that bridge was absolutely incredible! The team who operated the bungee process managed the bungee cord with such passion and finesse, never missing a beat as they rhythmically pulled it in after each mad jump. One after the other the psyched up bungee-ers would step up to the mat and wait their turn to be harnessed and strapped, snap shots taken of nervous, smiling but willing jumpers and then arms spread wide they would place their toes on the edge of the bridge waiting for the two bungee body guards on either side to make the count down and then ….BUNGEEEEEE!
It was like a well processed factory machine, churning the jumpers off one at a time and bringing them back all in one piece, red-eyed, shivering but beaming like the crazy Cheshire cat we all know so well. As I watched this process I began to realise that I had the craziness in me too, I could do this, I could literally (with cord and harness attached) jump the bridge without the deep seated fear of dying. I asked if I could change my mind and do the jump but by then it was way too late – my window of opportunity had just closed. Right at that moment I knew that there had been a significant shift in my thinking – it didn’t happen all in that moment, it has been a slow but steady shift into moving beyond the fears that have boxed me in and contained my courage. It took that moment on the bridge for me to realise that I could allow my fears to rule me all my life – they would hold me back from jumping into greater experiences and moments, they could even hold me back from the vision and the dream – and how much has this been happening already? How many moments have I held back on because fear contained me?
Mine to hang on to or mine to let go of.
That day on the bridge, despite the fact that I was not sharing in the mad adrenaline rush that surrounded me, was profoundly liberating. I walked off of the bridge knowing that I have it in me to jump, to leap, to take the risks I know will be required of me in the near future. I also knew that despite the fact that many things have not been going my way that in the last 2 years I have faced far more fears than I realised I could and that figuratively Robin and I have been doing the greatest bungee jump of our lives! Into the unknown – into the place where faith is at the helm and fear is the wave chasing it.
So the ultimate question is do we need to jump bridges to prove we have overcome fear – you can if you want to just make sure there is a cord attached – thank goodness that is not the ultimate test required. I think if we had a choice and we could literally bungee off the Bloukrans Bridge and the dream became a reality I would definitely opt for the literal jump rather than the one we have been jumping. But on second thoughts I am so grateful for what I have learned and ultimately it is also what we choose to learn, what we choose to look at and what we choose to face in our lives that grows us. God uses all things to teach us but if we refuse to learn or only want it the way we want it, it is going to be one long ride and many failed tests that we will need to write over and over again.
|Fear is temporary, regret is permanent logo|
Fear faced is fear overcome and once that is under your belt the next level will be more do-able, more possible than impossible and that is victory!
The company that do these bungee jumps have a great slogan – “Fear is temporary, regret is forever” - makes a lot of sense to me…
May 2013 be the year we jump into the new, the unchartered, the new possible. It needs to be a year where fears are faced and bridges are jumped and life is lived without limitations and plenty of wisdom.
May your 2013 be one with no regrets.