Skip to content

Trampoline Identity Crisis

January 27, 2014

It was two days after Christmas.  We were finally at home from Christmas travels and the weather was decent enough for my kids to enjoy their new trampoline.  I have to tell you that I was pretty anxious for them to get inside the intimidating jumping cage and bounce to their hearts’ content.  I was even more anxious for them to ask me to jump on the trampoline with them!


Finally, after a few moments of their jumping, it happened.  “Daddy, Daddy, come in here and jump with us!”  Do I humbly shrug the suggestion off and portray an air of maturity that says, “I build trampolines, I don’t jump on them,” or do I kick my shoes off and get in there as fast as I can?  I wore crocs just to make it easier to get my shoes off.

That wonderful feeling of shooting up in the air and then sailing downward was the same as when I was in grade school jumping on my trampoline (minus the cage-like netting back then).  And then it happened.  “Daddy, do a back flip!  Do a back-flip!” 

I couldn’t let my kids down.  I had to do one.  So I bounced, bounced, bounced, backflipped.  But something happened that I don’t remember happening when I was 9 years old.  I felt a twinge in my neck.  A pinch.  A crick is what we call it from where I come from.  And for the next two weeks, it hurt to turn my head side to side.

During those two weeks of painfulness, I struggled.  How could this happen?  I am an athlete.  I grew up on the baseball fields.  I spent my afternoons and evenings playing endless games of basketball in driveways and streets.  I even ran a marathon.  Now I can’t even do a simple back flip without suffering for it for two weeks?!


I gotta admit…I felt like a part of me had gone away.  You know what?  It had.  I am no longer that collegiate athlete I once was.  And I am learning that it is okay.  I am learning that I cannot let achievements (or failures for that matter) define me.  As silly as it may sound, my identity is not meant to be tied to how many back flips I can (or can’t) do, or how long I can bounce without getting tired.  My identity is wrapped up in Jesus.  He is my “one defense, my righteousness.”  I have new, abundant life in Christ and I am striving to learn as much as possible what it means to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.  Having your identity in Christ means trusting Jesus to live through you.  Sometimes that means being the type of dad who says, “You bet I will jump with you!”  And sometimes it means saying, “Nothing gives me greater joy than to watch you jump and enjoy the trampoline, so I think I will sit over here and do just that.”

What about you?  Do you struggle with letting accomplishments or disappointments define you?


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: