We got a trampoline! Actually, my son, who just turned twelve, got a trampoline for his birthday. I was against it at first...but the testosterone in my family swayed me. We got one of those supposedly super-safe ones with the mesh enclosure and fabric over the springs, so you can't slip through them. So, we'll see. Anyway, we bounced on it all weekend. Cruise did ALL the flips! Steve did some Daddy flips! Savanna and I did various leaps and jumps! So festive! So fun! We haven't laughed that hard as a family in a long time. Totally, totally worth it.
Then, yesterday while the kids were at school, that darn thing kept beckoning me. I could see it out of the corner of my eye every time I walked by the kitchen window. There it stood, delicately sprinkled with last nights' dew, glimmering in the sunshine. As I tidied up the breakfast dishes, I glanced out at it again and it whispered, "Amy, come jump!" "Oh, no," I said, "I am a mature, responsible 40-something year old lady. I don't jump on trampolines by myself in the middle of broad daylight, for all the world to see. You must understand, we haven't been on this property long, and don't have it fully landscaped yet. We are at the end of a cul-de-sac with no trees, no fence, NO VISUAL BARRIER. In other words, "What Will The Neighbors Think?"
See what I mean?
But the trampoline would not take no for an answer. "Remember how fun I was yesterday? ... and the sweet moves you did, with the wind in your hair? And how it felt like you were flying?"
"OK," said I. "But only for five minutes. I have work to do today." (I didn't, really, but it didn't know that.) I walked out in my socks and glanced around, like some stealth spy. I didn't see anyone, so I climbed on and started bouncing away. And then, it happened! As I jumped, I morphed into a kid again! I was only twelve years old myself, jumping on a trampoline in the middle of the yard, with absolutely no visual barrier to protect me from the suspicious eyes of the neighbors. And yet, I did not care! I jumped high! I jumped low! I twisted! I turned! I developed a sweet new move I call, "the twisty-turn." I leapt, I did the splits - hey I used to be a gymnast - I did some moves a forty-something year old mom of two has no business doing on the trampoline. And it was fun! My neighbors pulled up. "Hey, guys!" I waved and shouted. (We don't know them very well, and now we probably never will. But that's ok.) The man gave a sort of unsure half-wave. The woman looked at me, mumbled something (maybe hello? I don't know...) and went inside. It made me laugh even more! FREEDOM! The whole thing made me think of this verse: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal 1.10) Because, let me tell you people, like Eric Liddell, I FELT the pleasure of God! Jesus likes to jump on the trampoline, oh yes, He does.
I jumped until my legs gave out and my hair hung in strings. In full sight of all the neighbors. And I didn't care. I went inside and reveled in my new found freedom. The beauty of it is that even three years ago I would never have done such a thing. So unrefined! So silly! So crazy! This is the effect God has had on me. He came to give me life, so I could live it to the fullest. No neighbors are going to stop me. I thought to myself, rather smugly, "If the kingdom belongs to the childlike, bring it on, Lord!" I thought again about the twisty-turn maneuver. I thought about how much I would like to bounce the next day. If I had more practice, I could probably do a flip! I thought about what a spectacle I would make out of myself, day after day, flipping and bouncing and twisty-turning in front of all the neighbors. Then I went upstairs into my husband's office and asked him to buy me some trees.