So when I was like 17 I went up to Mount Cheaha with a bunch of friends to go cliff jumping. There is this really beautiful spot at Lake Chinnabee where 3 different waterfalls collide into an area of about 50 feet. One of the waterfalls is about 10 feet  and an easy jump. But right above that is another jump of about 35 or 40 feet (but my mother argues it’s only like 30… but she jumped off in the 70’s and just doesn’t remember 🙂 Anyhow the 10 foot was a blast and I would usually stick to that one. No risk of injury. But one day while I was out with the boys trying to prove myself, I decided to move up. It took me about 10 minutes to decide whether or not I actually could do it. You have to clear 3 different ledges below to make the water, and it’s a very dumb idea. But once I decided to go, I just went. Looked to the sky and then ran as hard as I could. It wasn’t until I was falling did I realize that maybe this was a really bad idea. I hit the water and came up safe, with only a scratch from a deep water rock.

A friend emailed me about a decision he had made to start over new. He would sell his home and try for a new adventure. But he realized as he was starting the process that it would be harder than he first thought. And it made me think about my past decisions and my decision to go to Vietnam. I had been praying for a long time about being back overseas and especially in Asia. And once I felt that peace from God and stuff starting falling into place, I went for it. Talked to my pastor, staff perish, and then decided I was ready to give up everything in order to follow after God…

I was driving home yesterday. Hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time. Every mile put a hole in my stomach, and I felt that I would have to turn around. I’m just not brave enough I thought. God should choose someone else for this. Then I argued for about an hour with Him about how i’m not ready and how unreasonable it is that he would choose me.

Then I thought about the sermon that morning in Church. Larry talked about the verse in Deuteronomy 30. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Now i’m not saying that everyone should go jump off a cliff. But, sometimes to stand still and make no choice is choosing a slow death. One that you can’t see because you replace it with the word “comfortable and easy”. It would have been easy to stay in Meridian… but as Larry reminded me, Bravery is not the absence of fear. It’s ok that you question, but believe that as scary, hard, and painful as it can be… that it will be worth it. That one day you will look back and see something incredible, and it will give you the nerve and courage to do it again. Basically….

 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James must have been on to something.