Quit Trying So Hard
“You’ve got ten seconds to get off this thing.” I told myself as I stepped over the railing while trying to act like this was no big deal. Somehow this summer I got wrapped up in another staff member’s summer goals. Jake Kornegay wanted to do the ABC’s of Durango, which meant he was planning on jumping off of various cliffs and a bridge into the icy waters below. Thrilling? Yes. My kind of thing? Nope. I planned on tagging along on his excursions to take pictures, but a crazy thing happened at both the A (Adrenaline Falls) and B (Bakers Bridge) locations. After watching other staff members build up the courage to jump, I thought “Why not leap off a 40-ft bridge into a river made of yesterday’s snow melt?” I was 100% confident as I approached both of the jumps, but once I stood on the edge with my toes hanging over and prepared to actually take the plunge, all of my confidence was replaced with visions of what could go wrong.
Our spiritual lives can be a lot like that. We have a plan, even a God-directed plan. We’ve seen other people do it, we’ve got the confidence and the support, and all that’s left to do is execute the plan when suddenly we are standing on the very edge weak-kneed and unable to jump. So, we start trying harder and harder without really ever doing the one thing needed to accomplish the goal. We are too scared that we will mess up along the way. Our theme this summer was “quit trying so hard,” and we talked about how we get caught up in trying to earn God’s love by working hard and being good enough. We try so hard that it overshadows the fact that our “goodness” isn’t earning any more grace and love than our “badness.” Quit standing there making plans and thinking of the pros and cons, and especially quit standing there beating yourself up for not being good enough. There is no such thing. Quit trying so hard. Give yourself ten seconds, jump, and experience the shocking refreshment of God’s freely-given, unconditional love and grace.