The other day I decided to take my kids to one their favorite places to play as a random day surprise. When we arrived at Urban Air Indoor Trampoline Park, my son said to me, “Mom, I can’t wait to go inside, I mean, I really can’t wait”. No sooner had he said it I watched him bolt across the parking lot, calling after him to wait for me. My daughter was equally as thrilled, following her big brother as he took off into the building with joy and excitement anxiously tossing shoes aside, impatiently waiting for me to finish the transaction as I paid for their day passes. The day was exciting. I watched as they jumped in ball and foam square pits, jumped from rings and bounced their way from one section to the next as I ran to keep up with them. Thankfully I met another mom with children as energetic as mine and we joined forces (mostly out of necessity) as our children played together and kept each other company. The periodic check in was sufficient as I enjoyed conversation with another grown up and snacked on fig bars and water.
At one point one of the older kids in the company came to me and said, “she’s scared, she won’t come down.” I knew what that meant. My daughter had bravely and successfully climbed to the top of a trampoline tower with the only way down being a slide or by rope. She was terrified. She kept calling after me, but I couldn’t climb up to reach her. I could only encourage her to be brave and come down using the slide or climb back down the way she came. Despite cheers and constant encouragement, it took one of the staff to climb up and slide down with her. And she smiled all the way down. She landed in my arms content to finally have her feet touch the ground.
I couldn’t help but think about that experience as I consider what venturing into the unknown can feel like. For many people, 2020 was a nightmare that forced us to take inventory of what’s really important in our work and in our personal lives. 2021 began as what felt like a shot out of a cannon and we began to climb again. We began to move toward our goals, our dreams, that bucket list we said we would eventually get to and realized that we were, in some ways, in the way of our own success. Now that we have “climbed high” in a sense venturing into arenas that we wouldn’t have before. We have the same anxiety that my daughter had at the top of her climb. Tears come and fear grips our hearts and perhaps the most surprising emotion we experience is one of fear of success. We didn’t realize we had it in us to do the things we had convinced ourselves we might accomplish “someday.”
Tomorrow is not promised. It is a phrase I heard most of my life but has never been more real to me than it has been in the last 20 months. Where God guides, He provides and whatever I am made to do is not going to wait on me to be motivated. I believe our community of family and friends are the gifts of mercy that God gives to help us in the moments where we are afraid to get started or if we are frightened by our own success. And just like my daughter, when you know you are not alone, you can go up and down the slide of life without fear but in joyful anticipation of the good that will come and the great things you were meant to do with this life we have been given. So, climb high, don’t get stuck at the top but come down, enjoy the view and go again.