I learn a lot when I scan obituaries. I’m not talking about tributes to celebrities. Rather, these quick biographies belong to those with whom we interact and encounter in the daily rhythms of life. Sometimes, they inspire me to be a better version of myself; a more accurate image bearer of my Creator as I learn from them.
One day, my eyes focused on a tribute to a woman named Margaret. Her career achievements jumped out at me. She was a doctor who pioneered treatments for persons affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder in the 1970’s. Of course my heart skipped a beat because I am an advocate for families affected by autism and mental health disorders. I’m always interested in those individuals who are seeking to make the world better for all of us by making new strides in this field of medicine.
It is particularly inspiring to know of persons who choose to work in a field that is a filled with cultural stigma; one that doesn’t result in immediate answers and demands a passion against the odds. And in the 70’s?
My gut reaction was, “Wow!”
That woman joins the ranks of many people -both men and women; both prominent and behind the scenes-that put rubber to the road. They follow their passion to wherever it takes them. The thing about courage is that the more we practice it, the more it shapes all areas of our lives. And that’s where the next few words seemed to jump out at me.
“She jumped fearlessly into pools deep in caves”
Anyone who jumps into pools spontaneously knows there is an element of mystery combined with freedom once that leap is made. The water’s possible chill shocks at impact. The stomach flutters as gravity takes it’s course. Yet there’s something to be said for knowing the refreshment that is brought will be worth the experience.
To jump into pools in caves sounds both scary yet enticing. (side note: I am not advocating for jumping into water without any swimming skills and not being aware of it’s depth/or elements) Plunging your physical and emotional being into something so beautiful, majestic, and yet unknown takes courage.
Courage that manifests itself in every part of your life
If you can take great leaps into these amazing physical creations by our God, surely you learn to not let fear become a blockade. You see the other places that you are called to leap into-and you do it. You do it because you know that, in the end, the experience will be worth it. For you and for those in your circles.
That is why, after reading Margaret’s brief summary of her life, I said to myself,
“I want to be known for jumping fearlessly into pools in caves!”
What about you?