Death by High Jump
Confession…I’ve never attempted the sport of high jumping. I’m guessing most of you haven’t either. But regardless, the sad reality is there’s a high jump mentality that is killing us. It’s killing you. It’s killing me. And it’s doing it one rung at a time.
Here’s the deal with the high jump. The moment you clear the bar, they just raise it up a little higher. If you’re fortunate enough to clear that height, they raise it again. Each time you “succeed” you now have to prove yourself again…but this time the stakes are a little higher. You are pushed to the point of failure. Even for the greatest of high jumpers, you eventually fall short. You can’t just keep going higher and higher.
Now let’s examine your life and my life. Have you experienced some level of “success”? Maybe you got the grades. You got into that school. You got that job. You got that house. You got that vacation. You got that sale. You got that promotion. You got that recognition.
But eventually you hit a point of failure. It hurts. It stings. It’s bitter. You didn’t even take time to really celebrate your previous accomplishments along the way. You’re just on to the next thing. The next rung to clear. The bar has been raised and your identity is on the line.
It’s no wonder we’re tired.
Achievement. Accomplishment. Ambition. None of these are bad things. But they can own us. Do you know what I mean?
What if we weren’t meant to live this way? What if there was another way?
What if there was a bar of acceptance that was so unbelievably high that you and I could never clear it? That bar represents perfection. Perfect behavior. Perfect motives. Perfect execution. Every. Single. Time.
But what if there was an ultimate high jumper who could clear it? And not only that, he would jump in your place and you’d get all the credit and acclaim that comes with jumping higher than you could possibly ever do on your own.
And what if after that, you are welcomed to keep jumping. But this time it’s not to prove anything. You get to go back to jumping for the sheer joy of it. You’ll attempt new heights and sometimes you’ll clear it and sometimes you won’t. But it’s ok. Now you’re just enjoying the pleasure of participation and using the abilities you’ve been given. There will be some who you’ll jump higher than and some who will outjump you. That’s great. That’s all part of it.
So set your goals and have your plans. But in doing so, rest in the fact that there was One who perfectly cleared the bar by being lifted up on a Roman cross. And in His moment of ultimate shame and rejection, you found approval and acceptance. You got His righteousness. You got His perfect record.
May you rest in that reality.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.