Cliff Diving

tightrope

We have all had them, one of those days. You know the kind that starts off ok and then at some point take a major dive off a giant cliff? There are two ways I can respond to this type of day: 1) I can throw a big pity party, become totally self focused, and hate the world, or 2) I can reflect on when exactly I stepped off the cliff and be reminded what I’m really standing on.

On days like this all I want to do is hit the gym, and blow off some steam, but even that was a major fail. I realized what I really need when I’m having one of these days is hope.

Heb 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

I don’t walk by faith every day. I walk around every day absorbing things and events around me. With the added access of information through social media, I absorb all the more; other people’s thoughts, feelings, responses to things, or responses to me. All these things can pile up and attack my faith. When I absorb without pausing to process it all through God’s perspective, it can send me over an emotional cliff and cause me to lose sight of hope. When I lose sight of hope my actions are no longer governed by faith but by my emotions.

There was no single event that led me to the edge of my cliff today. Rather, it was a build up of many little things; thoughts surrounding the holidays, small life decisions or conversations that left me feeling unsettled, world news and current events.  I read the following verse in the morning and then forgot to live in its truth throughout the day.

Rm 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Hope is a powerful thing. It replaces my anxiety with peace and gives me perspective. Hope helps me to take things little by little and  not think in extremes or infinite terms. Others may speak into my life but Jesus needs to have final say.

Is 43:12 “I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, “that I am God.”

There will be days that are hard, when I will come to the edge of all I know and feel overwhelmed. On such days, choosing to deliberately re-focus on faith and hope can remind me of who God is in my life and  determine what kind of witness I will be to others.

Today, I let my bad day get the best of me. By the time I rolled into the gym I was completely self focused and inconsiderate in my actions. However, I didn’t stuff my emotions; I shared them, owned up to my behavior and apologize for it. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to step off a cliff by faith instead of my sight.

One of my favorite quotes reminds me that, “Faith is knowing that when I do step off the cliff one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for me to stand on, or I will be taught how to fly.”

Ps 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

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