This past month on the first week of June my wife, Jessie, and I had the privilege of traveling to Oahu, Hawaii to be a part of Hope Chapel's Youth Conference. It was a fast paced week full of adventures, spiritual growth, networking and selling. We had the honor of meeting an amazing group of people who we are now proud to call "ohana" – which means “family” in Hawaiian.
Everyday we would go about on adventures to discover all the amazing things that the island had to offer. No matter what time of day, or where we were, we were recording every step of the way. We are currently working on that footage and should have it ready soon as we talk more about our "Explore More" video series.
Getting back to exploring, there was one particular day where our friends told us about a particular rock in the Waimea Bay Beach Park area where people jump off of into the Pacific Ocean – of course we went to check it out. Looking at it from the sand, it doesn't seem too intimidating, just lots of fun. Tons of people, of all ages and sizes, climbing up the rock and doing crazy jumps into the ocean with their GoPro gear.
I looked at Jessie with a crazy smirk and told her to get me jumping on camera. As soon as I stood up, I noticed I was wearing my glasses and had forgotten to wear my contacts that day. I told her that for the sake of footage, I would do it anyway. So there I go; climbing rocks completely blind as the wind blew sand in my eyes. The climb itself wasn't bad, but not being able to see anything made everything a bit more enticing. Not too long after, I made it to the top, I climbed the rock! I was ready to jump down and try it all again – for footage's sake of course – but I froze. Looking down into the ocean from up there seemed like I was jumping off Mount Doom into the River Styx.
It was the most frightening feeling I have ever had before. I have jumped off rocks and waterfalls plenty of times in the past and never did I feel so frightened about it – I can't explain the feeling. It wasn't because of the height, nor was it a fear of the sea, but as the wind blew and I crouched down to hold on to the rock for my dear life, I panicked. I was on top of a huge rock not being able to see things clearly. It was impossible to get back to shore by climbing, so the only way back to my wife was jumping down into this bottomless blue ocean.
I thought I stayed up there for 30 minutes – my wife says I stayed about an hour. She tried recording me attempt to jump so many times that the memory card on the camera was full. After a few heart to hearts with some 7 year olds who jumped off the rock at least 30 times within the time I was there, I decided to go for it. The kids started counting down, "10! 9! 8!” — my heart started beating faster. “7! 6! 5!” — my heart almost coming out of my chest. ”4! 3! 2!” — praying to baby Jesus to hold my dear life in His hands. “1!” I jolt out into the fresh Hawaiian air and splash into the bright blue Pacific Ocean. Now, I don't know what took longer, the fall into the ocean or the swim back up to get air. All I remember was everyone on top of the rock was cheering for me as I swam up for air.
After the jump, I didn't think much of it other than I had wasted so much time trying to get down. It was scary, it was fun, and I had done it. That's all that mattered and there was nothing to it. Fast forward a few hours into the night and we were at the conference once again. That night I was given the opportunity to speak a little about Anchored Apparel and what God has been doing in our lives through it. As scary as the idea seemed — going up on stage and trying not to say anything wrong to all the youth — it was actually very peaceful. I grabbed the microphone and spoke my heart out. Again, I thought I was up there for about 5 minutes, but the wife says it was almost half an hour – I really have a bad sense of time. But anyway, in that moment I couldn't help but pour out everything I had in me. I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through me and was blessed by that moment God had planned for us.
As the conference continued the next day, I couldn't stop thinking about the opportunity God had given us and was just in awe to realize that it was just the beginning of what He has planned for our lives. But in all honesty, if there is one thing that stood out to me from this entire trip, it was that exact experience involving peace and fear. It is crazy to see how something I've done so much in the past, like jumping off rocks — something so fun and meaningless — caused so much fear in me. On the other hand, something that I have also done so much before, but always feared in a way, — which is speaking about God in public — was so natural and peaceful. I guess what I am trying to say is that I learned that it’s much easier and peaceful to do things for the Lord — which hold a much bigger purpose — than meaningless acts of any kind – which have no purpose. In no way am I saying you can't jump off a rock or anything, you can and should have fun! This is just what I felt God speaking to me about my time in Hawaii.