Jumping Ditches

“You may ask what good will it be to us if we do not understand it. But that is easily answered. A man can eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him. A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it.” (Lewis, 58)

One of the incredible blessings of my life has been that though I have not always behaved in an angelic or Godly way, I have always believed that God exists. As far back as I can remember, I never remember a time in my life that I didn’t have an awareness that there is a God and that He is the boss. And while there have been times that I wasn’t real happy that He’s the boss, I have always been comforted by the fact that there’s somebody bigger than me to fix things when I dink up. (Notice, I didn’t say IF I dink up. I said WHEN.)

I recognize that there are a lot of people that don’t feel and believe the same way I do. I can’t express how sad this makes me. And honestly, that has to do with the fact that as much as I struggle through life knowing that there’s Someone bigger, smarter, stronger, and better than me, Who loves me, has my best interest at heart, and is fighting for me, I cannot imagine how grueling, arduous, joyless, and hopeless life would be without that knowledge.

I’ve always been short and had short legs. Especially when I was a kid, I was scared of falling. The boys in the neighborhood would run and jump, but I could never keep up. And many times, they jumped across ditches or streams that I was just too terrified to cross. Occasionally, they would turn around and try to coax me across, but very rarely was I brave enough to attempt the leap. Eventually, they’d lose patience and continue on their way. I’d wander off, teary-eyed and desolate.

And then, there was Tony. Tony was a pretty sweet guy. He was always my favorite friend of my brother’s and in fact, we are still friends today. One night while we were out playing in the woods near our neighborhood, it came time to go home but on the way, we came to a ditch full of water. I knew that it was too wide for me to jump across. Tony, with his long legs, easily hopped across. But I stood trembling on the other side. He tried to talk me into jumping, but I was resolute. And he was just as determined that he wasn’t going to leave me behind. He hopped back to my side of the ditch and told me the plan. I was scared, but I agreed. Tony and I got a running start and grasping hands, we leapt into the air and sailed across the ditch.

I’d like to say that Tony and I landed firmly on solid ground on the other side of the ditch, but it didn’t quite happen that way. Tony got across, dragging me behind him, and I landed just inside the muddy edge of the ditch, getting mud all over my new shoes. BUT I MADE IT ACROSS!

I often feel like Tony, standing on the “home” side of the ditch, begging and pleading with others to just try and jump. It’ll be okay. And you know what? I’ll hop back across the ditch and take your hand and jump with you, because I know it’s scary. Your feet may get wet, but you’ll be safer once we make it home. It will be worth the mud you get in your shoes.

You may not understand who God is or what He wants with you. It’s okay. You don’t have to understand. Just take my hand. We’ll jump together. And when we get to the other side, we’ll both understand it all. 

This post is part of the regularly-scheduled book discussion my friend, Jason, and I co-facilitate each Wednesday. We are currently discussing CS Lewis’ classic book, Mere Christianity. We invite you to come along whether you’ve done the reading or not. All comments are welcome. And if you’ve written a response to this chapter on your own blog, please feel free to link your post via the link widget below. Thanks for coming by! You are always welcome!

About Sarah Salter


  1. I’m in the same position, Sarah – God’s existence was never a question for me. I don’t get caught up in the evolution/creationism debates and I don’t get excited about the so-called “New Atheists.” And I’ve even got a “jump the ditch” story from my childhood, too.

    Good post.

  2. First, sorry for the double link…the first link is broken. :-/

    Second… I’ve got my jumping shoes on. Let’s jump!

  3. to friends that God sends our way, and to muddy shoes.
    so glad that God takes our hand.
    good story.

  4. As a later in life love of Jesus I am blessed that others took the time to look back and help me leap! May it be said of me that I did the same…

  5. Great analogy, Sarah! Love it. Thank you. 🙂

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Glynn, when do we get to hear your Jump The Ditch story?

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty, you have special jumping shoes? Do they have springs in them? Seriously, I love your willingness and enthusiasm! Let’s jump!

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Nance! God always sends us the right people at the right time, even if sometimes they don’t realize that God’s using them. 🙂

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    Karin, that reminds me that it’s been a while since I did a post on community… On walking the journey together. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, but so do His people. I’m so grateful! And I’m grateful for you! Thanks!

  10. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Jason! 🙂

  11. You are right. It is a blessing to not remember a time when I didn’t believe.

  12. Sarah – I wrote the ditch story as a poem last year: http://faithfictionfriends.blogspot.com/2010/01/faith.html

  13. Sarah Salter says:

    Glynn, I was just so speechless over today’s lovely poem. But then I read your ditch poem and oh, my gosh! SO lovely! Just stunning, my friend! Thanks for sharing today’s poem AND thanks for returning and sharing “Faith.” Just stunning!

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