Tumbling Through Life

tumbling classMy youngest daughter is in tumbling class.  She loves to play her way around the gym.  She bounces herself across the trampoline, working very hard on getting the jumps just right.  She runs to the springboard to practice leaping into the pit of foam balls.  She hoists herself up onto the bars so she can flip over them and land on the ground.  And she balances on beams nearly taller than she is, very carefully cautiously inching her way along the bar.

Her older sister and I watch her through the glass in a viewing area up above the gym.  Occasionally, she sees us and waves, but usually she is too engrossed in her activities to notice us.

As I was watching her today, the thought came to me how our lives can mirror the tumbling gym.  We too go around our lives, feeling like we are sometimes in the midst of a tumbling lesson.  We have times that are good and easy in life, where we can enjoy the ride bouncing along the trampoline.  This is the perfect time for us to work on timing our bounces just right – refining our relationship with God, spending more time in prayer, being thankful for our blessings.  And other times, we are placed in a situation where we have no idea where we will land.  We are scared but excited as we leap off the springboard, boosted by those loved ones around us, to leap into the unknown.  Other times, we work very hard to get to where we think we need to go.  We pull and struggle to get ourselves into the place we think should be only to find ourselves spinning off and onto the ground again.  So we repeat the exercise again and again, fighting our way up, only to slip down.  But during these struggles, we strengthen our core.  We learn to trust in God, steeling our faith against the tribulations and sufferings we face.  And sometimes, we feel like we are balancing carefully as we work our way from point A to point B, fearful of falling, afraid of failing. 

And all the while, our Heavenly Father stands up above us, watching over us.  Whether we notice his presence or not, he is always looking after us – rejoicing when we turn to him, comforting us in our hurt, wanting the best for us, and loving us – even if we can’t do the perfect cartwheel.

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