rick & 1j13
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
The Cliff
Robert found himself at last at the edge of the cliff. His long hike and free-climb up the rock had taken all day, and he was hot and sweaty, and yet still anxious and exhilarated after the ordeal. He'd planned this trek for weeks - probably years, wanting deep inside to do something like this as long as he could remember.

He'd first seen the peak while driving around one the of the park's forest-lined two-lane blacktops, enjoying the breeze, the windows rolled down in his Mini-Cooper, listening to something on the XM "Audio Visions" channel. That's probably what set him on this particular quest - the movement of the car, the sensation of the sunshine, the music building to movie-soundtrack crescendo at the exact moment he rounded the bend to see this precipice in all its majesty, all its danger, all its glory.

He stepped closer to the edge, peering down at the valley below. An updraft caught him offguard, knocking him back a bit, bringing a little more reality to what he was planning to do. He sat down to drink some water, straighten his things, and pray.Robert stood up, brushed off his backside, and took one last look down the cliff's craggy face. Then he set his eyes forward, surveying the horizon from the highest point in the park. This view was spectacular, complemented by the lightness in his heart and the courage welling up in his soul. He adjusted his headphones, turning on the same soundtrack orchestration he'd been listening to in the car those few months, eons ago. He turned up the volume, turned to take four or five steps away from the edge, and then turned to face the valley again.

And he ran - hard, fast, sure and courageous. And he jumped - pushing purposefully away from the cliff into a purity of nothingness he'd never known before. After years of base-jumping, Robert had finally found the one ultimate test of his reliance on God - this time, the parachute was left on the ledge. And in the initial rush of wind, adrenaline and abandon, he didn't care.

"In order to surrender to the joy of soaring, one must get over the fear of falling."
[borrowed & paraphrased, Crystal Lewis, "For Such A Time As This"]
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