Published Friday, November 23, 2012
It’s kinda like jumping off the high dive. Sometimes you’ve got that commitment and you just have to jump. Other times you know full well you can back up and climb down that ladder and use the steps to slip into the shallow end.
I’m not a jumper but I’ve hit those “sometimes” so many times that the deep end doesn’t seem nearly as deep as it did years ago.
The eye surgery I had a few years ago was a diving board without any steps to retreat on. Cataracts in my late 40’s made the world kinda bluish and fuzzy. I had plenty of time to think about the procedure while we waited a few months for my eyes to progress enough for surgery.
I had to warn my doctor of how his day might go once we met up for surgery.
“You’re a great guy and all,” I began, hoping to soften the blow, “but honestly, if you come at my eye with anything more than chocolate, I can’t be responsible for my reaction.” He smiled. “No, doc, I mean it,” I continued, sure he didn’t get it. “It’ll be like someone taking a kitten from the crazy cat lady. Though I have never had anyone cut into my eye before I can tell you it will not be pretty. You will have to tie me down. Twice.”
He grinned, put an arm around my shoulders and said, “Trust me, by the time I’m ready to work on your eye, you will not care if I pluck it out and play marbles with it.”
I had my doubts.
But he was right. On surgery day – of which there were two; one for each eye – they gave me a concoction that honestly made me happier than I’d been since I got my Kissy Doll for Christmas back in 1964.
Getting there was difficult. Of course, I was not allowed to “eat anything after midnight,” which I rarely do, but that included the next morning which has never failed to make me surly. Add that to the thoughts of doc poking my eye out and I could hardly utter a word all the way to the hospital.
This is when I wish teleporting were possible. I hate the voluntary “going” to such a thing. I’d rather be whisked away before I have a chance to climb off that high dive. Commitment to such a thing as surgery is my rough spot and causes me to be very quiet, which both baffles and pleases Ninja Man to no end. The silence he experiences on the drive to surgery is a huge break from his everyday, a fact that I’m sure makes him secretly wish for the occasional small procedure.
When I was younger - before things started falling apart and required heavy sedation to repair – it was the small things that were my high dive.
Things like job interviews were tough and I hated offering myself up for complete scrutiny. I never failed to wish I owned my own business and had I had it to do over again I would have jumped off that diving board early in life and plunged into my own company – risks and all.
Today’s rough starts are so much different. I’ve had just enough sedated procedures to not fear it nearly as much as I used to. I’ve worked enough places to not take the job so seriously that it affects my personal life. Life experiences have left indented footprints on my high dive and each time I step up my feet hit it at the same exact spots but with less trepidation and fear.
When I see my grey roots I smile. It’s stepping off that high dive that has put most of them there and I wouldn’t be nearly as tough without the plunges I’ve had to make.
How I put that first foot in front of the other is no secret. No matter how rough the start God has given me strength for every “deep end” I’ve ever had to dive into.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It is absolute truth. I know God will give me the strength again and again and the amazing thing about it is how much my faith grows with every single rough start.