As we paddled up to this rock, the guide was telling us that just below this rock was a fifteen foot cliff that the water spilled over. There was no way that we could see the cliff, as the water was flat as it poured over the hidden hole. What this enabled the willing subject to do was to jump off the rock straight down into the water and into this fifteen foot void. Because all of this was under water and couldn’t be seen by the naked eye, we had no way of understanding the power of that water at the bottom of that hole. Technically if you hit it just right and went all the way to the bottom, then you would be shot out at lightning speeds straight ahead down river, mind you while you are still under the water. Fear started gripping us a little as he explained the details to us while we were standing on that rock. We were not sure what to expect and if we would die down there. The guide told us it was our decision and waited to see what we would do.
One by one the six guys in our boat jumped into that hole of the unknown. I sat back in shear fear contemplating if I was prepared to leave Amy as a widow. After all, the hydraulic immediately before this hole, was called the “Widow Maker.” I watched as the five guys before me jumped in and surfaced about ten feet away. I was next… I mustered all of the nerve that I had in me, and jumped in with both feet. Being 6’6” and 300+ pounds, I sank directly to the bottom of that hole. What I experienced next I will never forget till the day I die. As I was standing upright, I shot straight down the river in what felt like 30+mph. Everything was pitch black, but I was moving. Oh was I moving. I didn’t know what to do. Did I need to swim, kick my feet, give up and die? I had no idea what to do. In what seemed like an eternity, but in actuality was only ten seconds, I started to rise very gracefully to the surface. When I broke the surface, I realized that I was about a hundred feet from where I had jumped in. The other guys were screaming in confusion and getting scared, because I had not come up where they had. They had not seen me surface downstream. The guide was looking all around and calling for other boats to come to my rescue. They had thought that I had drowned. Little did I know, I had broken a record for the furthest they had ever seen a person go down that river in the hole. I started shouting and they saw me. Overwhelmed, they paddled to where I was. They said that look on my face was priceless. If I could have done it again, I would have jumped back in with both feet.
When we expect the unexpected, it is not just for the dangerous trials, tribulations, and testing’s in life. God wants us to know that with His protection and guidance, life can be fun. Don’t be so cautious and reserved that you are not willing to grab the bull by the horns and ride. I have known so many people that lead their lives out of a negative alertness that they forget to have fun. We need to be proactive, alert, and aware of our situation, but we can’t be petrified by life.
I have learned that in certain things of life I am risk adverse. For example I had a stint as a small business owner, and it didn’t work out for me. I learned that in that particular stage of life, it was not for me. That does not mean that down the road it might not be. It is hard not to be scarred by circumstances in life that have left us wounded. However, don’t allow it to dominate your life. We should not live our lives by fear, but with assertion. People that are optimistic and assertive in life will tend to attract the same type of people. None of the guys on that river trip were afraid to experience life. That is not to say that some of them didn’t have to overcome fears along the way that they learned they could tackle and put in perspective. Misery loves company, which is why it is absolutely crucial that we not succumb to the doldrums of this world.
What does it take to jump in with both feet? 1) You previously have had to overcome obstacles, which enabled you to overcome fear. It is easy to say that you are going to do something, but still be bound by the fear of “What If’'s.” So many people live their lives wondering what could possibly happen. It is like a choose your own adventure novel. There could be ten different endings, but you will never know until you jump in. 2) It is essential that you bathe it in wisdom, but don’t ponder the situation to death. Your mind will try to rationalize why you shouldn’t take risks, when your heart is telling you to go for it. We are built as humans to have an adventure to live. Don’t deprive God’s intent and design for your life by trying to use rationale in a situation that just requires a leap of Faith. 3) You must be willing to accept whatever circumstances are below the surface. When you jump in the water, you are not going to know what lies beneath it. You have to be willing to roll with the flow, and sometimes hold your breath. If it is not what you expected, I caution you on throwing a fit or sinking into a chronic depression. Instead, overcome the disappointment and be proud of yourself for trying. Sometimes the joy is not in the outcome, but rather the attempt.
When we expect the unexpected, it does not mean that it is going to be spelled out and defined for us. It just means that we should go through life with eyes wide open. We should understand that life is an obstacle course. Careers don’t always turn out the way that we envisioned they would. Marriages don’t always turn out quite like we had hoped. Relationships with family and friends sometimes can be strained. One thing is for sure. All of these life altering situations will appear as minuet when we are keeping our eyes on the prize of Jesus Christ. No matter what the circumstance or the situation, expect that God is in control of the unexpected. Jump In!!!