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I once heard the story of someone who had been doing daring demonstrations of walking the tightrope over Niagara falls. The crowd was loving every minute of it. At one point the man asked the crowd "Who thinks I can walk across the tightrope with a man on my back." Everyone cheered enthusiastically. Then the man asked next "Who would like to volunteer to be that person?" And there was dead silence in the crowd until one man raised his hand and volunteered to give himself over to fate by participating in this feat. The next few hours consisted of absolute silence as the stuntman inched bit by bit across the tightrope with a man on his back, with successful results :)
Every day since Sept 3, last year when I quit my job and went on the journey of faith, I've felt exactly like the man on top of the other man as he inched his way across Niagara Falls. Basically, God was saying to me "Angelina, hop on my back" I know it must be entertaining to watch, otherwise there wouldn't be so many of you out there tuning in and reading my blogs. But being the actual person who's taken the risk can be quite scary at times.
There are occasional moments where I can hear the sound of the angry waters churning hundreds of feet below me, hungry for it's next victim. Every so often I feel a spray of water against my face, as a reminder of the power of mother nature. Sometimes I feel myself wanting to close my eyes and tighten my grip, hoping that I might gain even a little ounce more of comfort by doing so.
But when I stop looking at my surroundings and close my eyes, there is another sound I hear. It is the sound of skilled body work of the person who is holding me on his back as we make our way across. And if I listen in just a little closer, i can hear his heartbeat. A heartbeat that whispers gently "Don't worry, I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
And upon hearing that gentle whisper, it is then that I can feel the palpitations of my heart beginning to slow. The sound of the water below that once sounded angry and vengeful now sounds powerful and magnificent. And the spray of water that hits me every so often feels rather refreshing as opposed to mocking and bullying.
Faith is all about holding your breath and taking the plunge. I absolutely have the highest respect and admiration for Abby Sunderland @abbywildeyes , a 16 year old girl wanting to make the record for being the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe. And honestly, it does require a certain level of vulnerability to step out into the unknown with the whole world watching. It's also easy to criticize when someone does try to do something spectacular but things happen that cause them to fall short of their goal. But that doesn't mean that person is a failure, nobody who's chosen to rise above the status quo can ever been deemed a "failure" even if things work out differently than they wanted.
All these are things that are going thru my mind as I prepare to take my plunge. With the whole world watching me with eager anticipation, I feel like I can relate to the champion freediver Guillaume Nery in this spectacular video of him base jumping into Dean's blue hole in the bahamas. Who knows what will await me this time when I take the plunge? What will I gain and what will I lose? I am taking one last breath and diving in, not really knowing when or if I'll ever come back to the surface again.....
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
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