Matt Woodley tells the following story;

In the summer of my 11th year of life, I learned the power and joy of surrender. It happened in Minnesota at the Edina community swimming pool high dive. For five summers I had watched – in admiration and terror – the big kids climb 35 steps into thin air, walk a long concrete diving board, and then jump into the cool water below. For a few agonizing seconds they disappeared in the deep end only to reemerge alive and whole, beaming with delight.

I had long avoided the high dive. I wouldn’t even come close to the deep end. But when my buddies – and even some girls – started plunging off the high dive, I knew I had to save face. Being uncool was worse than plunging to my certain death.

On a humid day in July, with my stomach reeling and my knees wobbling, I climbed the 35 steps into thin air. As I walked the plank, everything within me said, You fool, turn around and climb back down. You can still live! But when I started to backpedal and looked over my shoulder, I saw the line of friends, older kids, and girls chuckling. I knew I must jump.

Creeping to the edge of the plank, I looked over the edge, and I finally let go and jumped. Down I plunged, hitting the water like a stone, sinking lower and lower into my watery grave. So this is how they die, I thought. Some people hit the water and never come back up. They get sucked through the grate at the bottom of the pool and turned into chlorine. But then – surprise! I came up again, and I was alive! I was wet and dazed but utterly alive! I was not only alive, but transformed, liberated and renewed. I shook my head of wet hair and laughed. I had let go of everything and lived to tell about it. I was more alive than ever. I had tasted the joy of surrender.

The Joy Continues,

Rev. C. Archibald Hawkins

May 31, 2018


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