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A Leap of Faith

I’m always up for an adventure. Except when that adventure involves water. Despite four years of swimming lessons at the YMCA next door to my elementary school, I am forced to admit that I cannot swim. This has been my greatest shame. I mean, don’t get me wrong if I’m in a bind I can doggie paddle a good seven minutes without completely freaking out. But once I get to 7.5 minutes and find that my feet cannot touch ground, I begin to gasp and splash. It’s not for want of ability, but there’s just something about large bodies of water that scare the living daylights out of me!

And that is why I find myself sitting here in a cloth swing that is suspended on a zip line over a lake in Northern Brazil. I am not happy. Neither are the men on wooden rafts yelling at me to jump from the swing into the water so they can paddle to me and pluck me out. Neither are the other tourists that are waiting their turn to jump off a platform and zip line into the lake. Nobody is happy, and if I have my way, we are all going to remain unhappy for a very long time. The men on the rafts continue to assure me. They tell me that as soon as I let go of the swing and jump into the water they will jump in right after me and I will be safe on their raft in no time. But I just sit here.

I sit in my swing and look around. I have no other choice, do I? I can either stay here wet, uncomfortable, and scared, or I can be brave for 30 seconds and jump.

So I jump.

Immediately, I am surrounded by water as I sink into the lake. I am overwhelmed. But before panic sets in, I feel an arm around my waist. One of the men from the raft jumped into the water right after me, as promised. Before I knew it, I was on the raft with them on my way to safe, dry land.

I hope I never forget this experience. I hope that when the urge sets in to give up at the last moment, I remember that sometimes, I only need to be brave for 30 seconds and take one last leap. And even if my bravery leads to panic, I can have faith that I will feel the arms of the Father guiding me to safety.

Because after all, I know that He has done it before:

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31, NIV).

Jael Amador writes from New York

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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