He took a deep breath focused his eyes straight and spread his arms for balance. With each trembling step he could feel the earth sink and sway. Little by little he forced one bare foot in front of the other. He dared not look to the right or to the left—only straight. His legs were wet cement, but he trudged ahead. A light breeze tickled his shoulders and he thought it would knock him off his feet—but instead it sent a shiver down his spine. The wet cement set hard. He was stuck.
All sound muted, black spots fluttered before his eyes like the thousand butterflies in his tummy. His world tilted and started to spin—he was going fall…He just knew it.
He released the air held captive since his first step and then inhaled, slow and unsteady. His eyes started to wander first right a few inches and then darted back to center, and then left and then straight ahead again. He inhaled deep and squeezed his eyes shut to hold back the sting of salty tears.
He couldn’t turn around. He’d come too far and besides that, there wasn’t enough room… because, he was too scared. He couldn’t go forward. There was nowhere else to go. It was the end of the line. I can’t do this…help. Please help.
The voice was more of an echo at first, bringing him back from the dark hole he was spiraling into. And its familiarity gave strength—enough strength to open his eyes and continue to breathe.
“I –I can’t.”
“You can. I’m here.”
The words chopped through chattering teethe. “But—I don’t know how—I can’t—I’m scared—I never—will you—can you—what if….”
“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’ll catch you…jump”
“Will you catch me? Come closer. Don’t move. Are you ready? Are you sure? Don’t drop me.”
“I will catch you. I’m right where I should be. I’m ready. I’m sure. I won’t drop you—ever. Trust me--jump.”
Still scared, he sucked in a shaky breath and took one more step…into a flurry of wind and speed and splash and cool water and warm arms—and out of fear.
He jumped and learned: even if he couldn’t swim, even if it was over his head, even if he was scared to death—all he had to do, was trust, and take one more step. Dad wouldn’t let him drown but would catch him every time, and…he had time of his life.
And now years later, when his mind fogs dizzy and his world tilts and spins out of control, when he feels like it’s then end of the line…he drifts back to that day and listens for his Father’s Voice and when he hears…I’m here. Trust Me. Jump—he simply lets go and falls into his Heavenly Father’s arms.
And then…he has the time of his life.