When you are a baby, you cannot walk. You cannot run and you cannot jump.
Most grown-ups, unless they are disabled, can jump.
Somewhere along the line, you learned to jump. How does that happen? How do you explain it to someone who doesn’t know how?
‘I need you to bend your knees and lower your centre of gravity – now I need you to straighten out your quads and exert a force greater than your body weight downwards so that the energy will carry your weight in to the air and prepare yourself to land by keeping your muscles relaxed for impact.’
When you jump, you just jump.
Christianity deals with emotions and with God. It can be pretty difficult, when you take it seriously, to figure out how to do it right. And faith of all kinds should be about doing. Doing is not just about the way you treat other people – although that is important – but it is also about the way you handle your responses to other people and to God. It is about structuring your inner life. Sometimes you read an explanation of jumping without knowing what it is and it makes you think, ‘well what is that supposed to look like?’
Take this for example:
Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
What does that mean?
To me, this is what religion is all about. Take a piece of scripture and find out what it is trying to say about the way we live.
Sometimes I hate religion because people use these phrases like everyone knows what they mean. Or like they have it all figured out. But it is actually really hard to tell someone what it means to jump. We need examples. We need guidance. We need to feel safe enough to get it wrong and try again.
“Rest in Jesus.”
“Not my strength, but God’s strength.”
“Make Jesus the Lord of your life.”
What does it mean?
What inner reality, what inner ordering, does that point to?
The irony is that all these statements point to a distinct lack of effort on my part. They say don’t try. Empty yourself of you. Resting is the opposite of trying. Stop pushing and let God work. Stand back, and don’t try to control everything. Trust, believe that things will work. Just jump.