We neared the diving cliff and surveyed the dark blue water of the Mexican cenote lying about 20 feet below.
At the edge, two young women, maybe 21 or 22, were giggling and shifting from one foot to the other, stirring up some flirtatious drama for their boyfriends as they dared each other to take the plunge. While they stalled, our 5-year-old Natalie walked up next to them, strapped into her brightly colored life jacket. Without further ado, Natalie hurled herself into the air and plunged into the water.
Seeing that, the two young women became sheepish. They took their turns jumping with minimal fanfare as their boyfriends teased them mercilessly.
Natalie wasn’t being extraordinarily brave. She wasn’t trying to impress anyone—she had taken no notice of the giggling display. She just wanted to see what it would be like to jump into that water, and she trusted that we were taking care of her. She knew we wouldn’t bring her somewhere she shouldn’t be. She knew that we had prepared her, and she didn’t give it a second thought as she jumped into the depths.
As we get older, we spend more time worrying about the outcomes and the consequences of our actions. We also seek recognition for the actions we take. If we’re not careful, our pride can take precedence over the task at hand, or our fears and concerns can keep us from making any forward motion at all.
But we are not called to make a big splash. We don’t need to be icons of bravery and fearlessness; instead, we are called to be bold and faithful, and to do that with humility, recognizing that God’s protection is boundless. Even the biggest, most uncertain leap will not leave us floundering outside of his reach. And when we humbly follow God’s leading, we might just encourage others to do the same.