Shift The Universe A Little!
I still can’t believe that I did it.
But I did.
There, surrounded by grandchildren’s paintings on my office wall, is the photo.
The one that proves it beyond question.
Me triumphant, with arms outstretched.
And the biggest grin.
The youth around me clapped and cheered.
Well, just a little.
And perhaps sympathetically.
They looked surprised and relieved, rather than impressed.
Relieved that they didn’t have to carry The Old Codger.
Relieved that I still had all my limbs.
And they could enjoy their lunch in peace.
If you’ve tried ‘Go Ape’, you’ll know what I mean.
It looks fun in the brochure.
It sits just on the edge of ‘rather-terrifying’ in reality.
Ropes to hang yourself by.
Zip wires to send you screaming - first in fear, then in exuberant discovery.
Ladders to climb, where ladders shouldn’t exist.
Nets to leap towards, Tarzan-like, as long as you’ve clipped yourself properly into your harness.
The fleeting realisation that you’ve broken the cardinal rule of safety…
And you’re attached to absolutely-nothing-at-all, standing on an inches-wide platform.
A million miles above the earth.
With death a near certainty if you place just one foot six inches the wrong way.
But I made it, didn’t I?
Proud, exhausted and exhilarated.
Why do we do these things?
Why do we risk our lives for such thrills?
I believe one reason is that our spirits want to vanquish their tendency to fear… and to fly unfettered.
There are times when we’re just not satisfied to do what-we-know-we-can-comfortably-do.
Times when we want to throw ourselves at The Impossible, for the sheer heck of it.
It is in those moments when we discover the glory of our living.
We exercise our capacity to shout to the heavens and surprise the universe.
If you’ve ever taken on a task that others told you couldn’t be done…
You’ll know exactly what I mean.
Then you’ll know what it’s like to poke your nose at them - at yourself - and say:
”Yes, I’m crazy.
And doing so, you’ll shift the planet a little, and send ripples through the earth, with your daring.
What is proclaiming itself to you as “Probably Impossible” today?