For my original OneWord post, click here.
It was with a bit of trepidation that I choose “beyond” as my word for 2011. After all, I knew that it would test my self-imposed limitations and challenge my willingness to accept the status quo. It didn’t take long for that to prove true. A week after I posted my OneWord, I went on a retreat with my church’s college group. Some may think that this was a challenge in and of itself, but as I have a special place in my heart for these students, this was a joy, not a stretch for me. It was what happened on the trip that prompted me to act concert with my OneWord.
First a little background – somewhere in my childhood I developed a fear of falling. My sister tells me that child researches think this is the one inherent fear in infants. For me, however, I think it became a limiting principle for me when I fell out of tree at my grandma’s house sometime before age 5. I don’t remember much about the experience but I remember the feeling of invincibility as I started climbing, and the fear I had when I ended up on the ground. I think I my have gotten over this except the years would prove that climbing wasn’t my forte and there would be a number of other, smaller falls awaiting me in the future. And so somewhere along the way, I decided that I would do what I could to keep my feet firmly planted on solid ground.
And then I went to the retreat….where there was a zip line….on a mountain…after choosing beyond as my word.
As I debated whether or not I would go, the word reverberated in my ears.
How could I claim to own “beyond” in 2011 if a perfectly safe zip line would stifle me on the eighth day of the year?
And so I went. I climbed the hill and dealt with loving friends who tried to intensify my fears. I braved the huge rope net that I had to go up in order to get to the zip line (truth be told, the net scared me perhaps more than the actual zip line.) I sat on the platform and waited for the countdown. And then I went.
Soaring through the air, I was mesmerized by my surroundings.
The mountains were breathtaking.
The air was invigorating.
The landscape a testament to the artistry of our Creator.
And I kept thinking – I would have never had this perspective if I didn’t give the zip line a chance.
My view would have been limited to what I had always known.
I would have never seen beyond my accepted perspective.
And the fear I felt was worth it. And knowing that even in a small way I had lived in keeping with my OneWord encouraged me to keep doing so for the rest of the year.