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The High Dive
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Lounge chair
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Water has always been my favorite environment. I remember when I was eight years old, spending much of my time on the diving board of the local swimming pool.

One day someone dared me to jump off of the high dive. Never to be one to turn down a dare, I got in line for that three meter board.

Dares usually worked out all right, even the one I accepted when my brother dared me to put gravy on my angel food cake. So this one would be fine too, I convinced myself.

There were only two problems. First, I was afraid of heights, and second, I had never gone off the high board before. Climbing the stairs to that narrow and very springy board, I decided that it might be easier to dive than to jump. Cautiously, I walked to the end of the board, bent over, tucked my head between my arms, locked my thumbs together, and dove.

In my nervousness, I wanted to be sure of what was happening, so I watched the water come closer and closer and closer until it slapped me in the face. Not wanting anyone to know about my mistake, I climbed out of the pool and got back in line because the same person who had dared me in the beginning was daring me to do it again. The next time I made sure to enter with my hands and head rather than my face.

Exhilaration

I spent many summers on that high dive mastering a sweeping swan dive and a sharp jack-knife. The diving was such a thrill. Everything was fine when I was over the water, but I never liked climbing the ladder or being on that narrow board over the deck. The exhilaration that came when I entered the water at precisely the correct angle made it worth it.

Other things in life are like that. Just a few weeks ago I attended a conference that seemed out of my comfort level. When I applied, I thought that if I was accepted, then I could decide. The conference was about new ideas in education and how to incorporate technology into these. Would I be the only one there that was going to experience a very sharp learning curve?

Well, it was the best conference I have ever attended and I learned so much. My teaching will never be the same. Participants ranged in age from those just beginning teaching careers to those who are close to retirement. Everyone learned, collaborated, shared, and grew.

God encourages us to reach beyond what makes us comfortable. When I was growing up, there was a quote in our church bulletin each week from Daniel 11:33, “…the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” The New Living Translation says it a little bit differently, “Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them.”

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By Joy Veverka. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION ©.


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