Geronimo! Free-falling Off a 30 Foot Platform
Every summer, my grandma would take my two cousins and me to Pine Lake. If you have never heard of Pine Lake, let me just tell you a little bit about this waterpark that was about 20 minutes from where I grew up. And not to mention, it was a waterpark… on a lake. Hints the “Lake” part of Pine Lake.
We loved it. There were racer slides, a twisty tube slide, a zip line, paddleboats, and (my grandma’s favorite part) shallow water with sand that was soft on her feet. But the thing I remember most was the diving area. There was a 10-foot diving board, a 20-foot platform, and the death defying 30-foot platform.
Every year we would run up the stairs to the top level and crane our necks over the edge to see the miniature people down below. We would start the “You go” game. It goes like this: “You go.” “No, you go.” “I’ll go if you go.” This would continue for about 45 minutes.
A little girl with pigtails would come up and my cousins and I would have to pretend like we were waiting for someone and she would jump off making us feel like we should go over to the kiddie slide, or better yet, make sand castles.
Eventually, one of us would work up the nerve to jump; down he went yelling, “Geronimo!” and the rest of us would follow to avoid being the chicken of the group. As soon as we came out of the water, we started running back up the stairs. We couldn’t get back up fast enough. It was so much fun! (Oh, and don’t run, it’s against the rules.)
When it was time to go, we were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t jumped off the platform sooner. What were we waiting for? Why were we scared to jump?
But then, the next year, we would start up the routine all over again: “You go.” “No, you go.”
It seemed like the longer we went without jumping off the 30-foot platform, the longer we would stand around and not jump. We never regretted jumping once we did; our only regret was not jumping sooner.
For me, the Sacrament of Confession is the same way. The longer I go without going to Confession, the more nervous I get about it, and the more I want to delay it. I make all kinds of excuses: I need more time to think about my sins, the line is too long, I know the priest too well, the other people here probably need it more than me so I should let them go first, or I just ate and need to wait 45 minutes before going to Confession (see how well the analogies match up?).
After I finally do go to Confession, I am so happy and excited! I make a vow to go more frequently because I love the feeling I get after Confession. I have never regretted going to Confession. My only regret was not going sooner.
So why do we make excuses? Why do we build it up in our head to be such a scary experience?
If it’s been a long time since you’ve been to Confession, don’t keep pushing it back. Take a leap of faith and just go. Because if you are like me, you will only wish you had went sooner. Oh, and I think it would be funny if you yell, “Geronimo!” as you walk into the confessional.