God’s advice is always good and right, isn’t it?
A few months ago, Dave and I traveled to the coast. There was no practical reason to make the trip, but heeding the inexplicable stirring of the Holy Spirit, we set out.
We stopped by a small bookstore an hour before it closed. The owner’s husband and dog waited at the entrance, their faces anxious. The storekeeper herself seemed a bit harried, despite her attentive assistance.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer, and asked. “Would you like us to leave? It’s getting near to closing time. You must be eager to head home.”
Her reply came as fast as a seagull diving for an abandoned chip. “No, no, please stay. I simply want to get to the lighthouse as early as possible. The murres are jumping.”
A long conversation followed, in which she explained that murres are a type of seabird. We got caught up in this woman’s excitement and decided to check it out for ourselves.
We raced to the lighthouse and took our place along the fence to watch.
The young hatch hundreds of feet above the ocean, high up on the massive rocks just off our Oregon coast. When the father murres deem their chicks ready, they wait on the water’s surface, calling out encouragement to their babies. Something along the lines of—in English, and human— “Hop off that rock, honey. There’s a whole world of wonder waiting for you. Come on!” To us it sounded like party favors tooting.
The chicks answer back something like, “I’ve never flown, I’ve never touched water, let alone swam. Are you nuts?” Smaller, frightened party favors.
And so it goes. Supposedly, once they jump, they never return to the rocks. They understand their purpose for living and embrace it.
We heard this banter, the coaxing, the pleading from the dads. The yeah-no way terror from the kids. It was difficult to listen. Which brings me to my point.
Those cries reminded me a lot of God, His voice forever patient, saying to me, “Jump, baby. I’ve got you. You’ll see, this is worth it.”
And those babies? They were so crowded on those rocks they could barely move. There was no food, no water, no shade, no relief from the endless crying. The shrieks as the chicks jumped off the cliffs to an uncertain future, hit hard.
I turned my back on the scene. It was too ugly, too real, too … me. My mind fast-forwarded. As most of us know, when God’s whispers aren’t heard, He’ll shout. As loud as a thousand birds. I could no longer ignore His call. So this is that what this little trip is all about, Lord?
I’m gulping air, already flapping my wings as I step closer to the edge of my own “cliff.” After all, I’ve never done what He’s asking. What if I fail? There’s a chance I could be flattened when I hit the water, or that something beneath the surface will grab me as a mid-morning snack. But there’s a bigger chance—as if anything God decides is chance—that I’ll land on waves softer than my current humdrum nest has always seemed. And along the way I’ll learn to fly. Truly fly.
I’m standing, toes hugging the “rock” before I lean in and take the plunge. And you know what? I’m eager. I’m ready to trust. Because He’s waiting to catch me.
He’s waiting for you, too. Jump.