A crucial part of every sermon is the example you don’t use. But blogs are more forgiving. So, today’s red herring that filled my prayer time and was mentioned not-at-all in church:
Advent as High Dive.
I spent most of my childhood summers by the pool. One of the rights of passage was being old enough (and competent enough) to be allowed to use the high dive. This morning as I prayed the experience of it came back vividly: excitement and fear equally mixed. The slow careful steps up slippery concrete, glad for the rasp of tread that hurt but kept you safe. All the while up, there was nothing to see; up and up, eyes locked on the solid wall of steps. And then suddenly you were there. The railings looped up and around, and you stood clear at the top of the tower.
OK, safe. Breathe.
But there was always someone behind, pushing, nudging, making sure you couldn’t go back. So forward then: a test of balance and nerve. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, was to walk confidently into the void and pretend that you were happy there. One – two – three, the sway of the board getting scarier all the time.
Then, the when you jump clear: terror into awe as you cut through the air.
There, in that journey is Advent.
There, between fear and elation, flying and falling.
Ready to start climbing again.