“Pops Used to Do That”

by DanWolgemuth on January 3, 2014

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~Ephesians 2:10 

I’m absolutely convinced that Mary had no ulterior motive in mind when she informed Graham that doing a headstand was, in fact, something Pops used to do.  Mary was in the process of instructing Graham on the entry level techniques that a four-year-old should master when attempting to stand upside down. 

I was in the room and overheard the conversation and the attempt at inspiring Graham by assuring him that his grandfather, now 58 years old, used to be able to headstand with the best of them.  The primary strategy to inspire worked and Graham did his best to stand on his head with his feet touching the wall behind him.  What Mary hadn’t counted on was that her pep talk would resonate in me as well. 

To be entirely honest, I wasn’t sure at all what would happen if I attempted to enlist old skills that required me to position my head on the ground and my feet in the air, but I went for it anyway.  Much to my complete delight and to Mary’s complete surprise, I still had it.  Toes pointed, back straight… solid as a rock, no wall required.  More to the point, I’m not sure what Graham thought, but he continued to try his hand at the trick in the shadow of his inverted Pops.

As Mary and Graham exited the scene, I began to wonder, perhaps with a bit of disappointment, about the tendency in my own journey to become more cautious, more calculated, more ordered, and completely predictable. 

When did I stop standing on my head? 

I’m not actually sure, but I feel quite safe is guessing that this was my first headstand in my 50’s. 

I know, I know, I could strain my neck (in fact, I might wake up in the middle of the night and rewrite this entire Fragment); I could pop a blood vessel in my eye; I could lose my balance, fall over backward, knock over a lamp, start a house fire, lose everything that I’ve saved over my 36-year-career… I get all that.  But there was just something wonderfully worth the risk about standing on my head for my grandson, for my wife, and maybe most importantly, for me. 

This clearly begs the question about what else I might be doing or not doing because I’m playing it safe.  What joy am I missing; what inspiration am I not producing; what lesson am I not teaching because I’m 58 and I used to do that?

“Pops used to do that” was enough; not to swell some unfounded arrogance, but to convict me to live boldly in the fresh landscape of 2014. 

Trust me, I’m not foolish, but I also don’t want to be fearful. 

What if the incredible plans that God promises for us aren’t things that we used to do.  What if 2014 is a year for bold; for big; for new; for fresh; for courage; for headstands… what if?!

2014, here I come, and I’m ready to start by turning everything upside down.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Deborah Caudle January 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I would love to see this one shared on the facebook page. I seem to have trouble getting it so that I can share it on my page with my friends & family. I truly enjoy reading your Friday fragments as I like to call them.


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