I stood on the edge of the jagged rocks and peered down into the dark swirling ocean waves below. I had no plans to jump off of this cliff like many of my friends had done before me, but I had fun watching them and taking their pictures from my safe perch at the top. I didn’t care if this was Hawaii and what a once in a lifetime opportunity this might be. I had never been on an upside down roller caster, never liked the Matterhorn at Disneyland, and in general avoided all thrill seeking activities.
The second preventative measure that kept me on the cliff was my absolute avoidance of the possibility of pain or injury. The phrase “no pain, no gain” was nowhere in my life experience. I chose cheerleading over track, ballet over baseball, and when the stakes got too high and I had to put on those point shoes, the pain was too much and I quit.
But the longer I took snapshots of other peoples thrilling plunge off the cliff into the depths of moving water below, something inside of me began to ask: What if I have what it takes to jump? If these girls can do it, then surely I can! So jump I did, with a picture to prove it and a memory of myself behaving boldly.
This is the role of the Holy Spirit when I sit on the cliffs of my life, peering into the unknown waters. In my early 30’s I was asked by a pastor to share my testimony at a large Sanctity of Life Service. Nowhere within me did I find the courage to stand on a stage and share my pain with a room full of strangers. Instead, the Holy Spirit inspired boldness in me as I pictured the many women who God wanted to heal from a life of shame and guilt. As I spoke from that stage, it was similar to the jump I had taken years before, with a recording to prove it and a memory of the Holy Spirit inspiring boldness.
Let this be a year for us to find the Holy Spirit inspiring each one of us in our own degree of boldness.