this morning for my quiet time i was reading acts chapter 3, about peter healing the crippled beggar at the temple gate (acts 3:1-10). i was struck by a particular word which is repeated in this short story. after peter heals the man, we are told that he jumped to his feet...then went into the temple courts, walking and jumping.
i guess i never thought much about this before, but today i began to wonder why he was jumping. there was no practical need to jump. this was not a utilitarian action. he wasn't jumping over anything. he was just walking and jumping, one presumes, with great joy for the way his life has been changed. jumping for joy.
you know what isn't very dignified? jumping for no apparent reason. let's be honest, you look sort of silly. if someone was walking into church on sunday and starting just started randomly jumping up in the air, we would think something was wrong with them, and would probably assume that they need some kind of medication. we don't do a great deal of jumping in our lives, unless we are forced to. and I'm thinking that that's a real shame.
i jump. occasionally. when the steelers intercept joe flacco, i jump up off my couch and leap around like a lunatic. i can remember back a few months when the first few chords of "born to run" came through the speakers, and bruce springsteen started growling, "baby, we were born to run," i jumped and jumped and jumped. i didn't care what i looked like; i was simply swept up in the joy of the moment, wanting to leave the ground, even if just for a second (i don't get much hangtime these days...).
so, i do jump. and i think those are pretty good reasons to jump. but maybe i'm missing some even better reasons for jumping. haven't i, like the beggar at the gate called beautiful, been given a reason to jump for joy? hasn't my broken down life been given new hope? don't i have the chance to enter into the presence of Almighty God who loves even me? what does it mean, then, to enter God's gates with thanksgiving, and go into God's courts with praise? doesn't it mean that i am so filled with joy about the way my life has been changed? doesn't it mean that i am so swept up in the overwhelmingly good news, that i just want to leave the ground, even if just for a second?
i want to jump more. not for any practical reason. but just because i am so filled with joy that walking seems far too mundane. i don't want to care what it looks like, limbs flailing and joints cracking. i just want to jump. what about you?