“Jump!” my son says as his little feet try and leave the ground. “Jump!,” he repeats over and over thinking that the more he says it the higher he will go. He doesn’t need to jump to reach anything, or to go anywhere. This “jump” is not to retrieve a balloon from the ceiling or to reach a door a handle. This “jump” is merely about jumping. My son just loves to jump.
I’m sure if I thought hard enough I could remember the last time I jumped. It might have even happened fairly recently, I am a short guy so sometimes jumping is required. However, I am certain that I did not jump just for fun, but there was some sort of purpose to my jump. It’s even more likely I did not enjoy the jump at all; it was just something that was necessary.
What age was it that we stopped jumping simply because jumping was fun? I’m sure we just got bored with jumping, it was no longer some new feat for us to display to the world. Recently a girl came to our church who competed in the “triple jump.” I’m not a sports enthusiast by any means but this was not something I was aware existed or even something you could get a scholarship for. Apparently, it is a track and field event where a person hops three times and then jumps as far as they can. If I had known jumping could pay for college I might have taken it more seriously.
Jumping can even be found in the Bible. When Peter heals a lame beggar we are told in the book of Acts that, “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.” When was the last time you jumped for Joy?
Eventually we get to a certain age where jumping is no longer possible without a hip needing to be replaced afterwards. I’m in that in-between phase right now. Jumping is still kind of fun, but only because I feel silly and not because I am enjoying the “jump.” But between finding joy in jumping and no longer being able to jump is a beautiful place, where the joy of watching your child learn to jump, equals the joy he gets from jumping. Sometimes we get stuck wishing we could still do the things we used to, or we long for the good ol’ days. But in each phase there is a new discovery, some new emotion or thought to be found. Today, I am going to try and find my “jump.” Maybe I will jump for Joy, maybe I will jump to reach something, maybe I will just enjoy watching others who enjoy jumping. Either way, it always remains true that curiosity and discovery play a very important role in how we feel about life. If we long for the past or worry too much about the future, we will forget to play today. In my own life I find when I loose curiosity about a subject, be it God, my family, or work, I loose so much of the joy that I derive from those things. May you not get so used to the routine that you forget what it is like to be curious. My hope for today is that we can learn once again to jump for joy.
Caleb is lead pastor at Logos Church and enjoys writing about pop culture, Star Wars, Jesus and what effective ministry might look like in Tulsa.