Just Jump (Part four)

Taken with my Grandma Nancy’s refurbished film camera. Summer Boundary Waters Trip 2019.

When we brought our canoes up to the camp site, my friend yelled, “Oh sweet! There’s a rope swing!”

A rope swing?

There it was, a swing tied to a tree growing up out of the rocks just near the edge. You could see down through the clear water and tell that many before had used this rope to fling themselves out into the deep water.

Oh great.

We didn’t even set up camp before my friend put on her swim suit and athletically flung herself out into the water, gracefully releasing the hold she had on the wooden log under her arms.

So I proceeded to worry myself sick the entire evening. My journal from that night is filled with a million creative ways why this a horribly irresponsible and bad idea. Through all this angst I finally came to a place in my journal where I sensed God telling me–“So just don’t do it, Evi.”

Huh. Just don’t do it.

Don’t do it? As a German Lutheran I don’t know if I missed that lesson in school–that you can say no to good things, that saying no is actually an option.

And in this thought I felt the stress and worry and fear melt from my shoulders. I was so relieved that I had the most restful night of sleep I’ve ever had camping. I woke to birds chirping–with an idea. I slipped into my swimsuit, zipped up my life vest, handed my camera to my friend and pulled back on the log with my hands instead of trying to hold it under my arms.

I ran and flung myself out into the waiting water: a morning polar bear plunge.

It is simply science or math that after something like that you come up out of the water with a huge, “Woohoo!!”

And there I was. . . in the Woohoo After. . . no longer worrying, no longer analyzing, no longer thinking. Just gliding along.

There’s a grace in realizing that we don’t have to jump, and sometimes that we can–if we do it our own way. May we all look back in the Woohoo After this year, smiling at the things we’ve done that we were sure we just couldn’t do. Amen.

Read on to Part Five.

Read on to Part Five.

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