Cliffhanger—the word immediately conjures up an image of some sort in your mind, doesn’t it? When reading a good mystery, you can always skip ahead if the suspense is so great you can’t stand it. If you are watching a DVD, you can also run it forward. When it comes to your own life, you have to just live it out. You can’t fast forward time, regardless of the tension or pain of the moment.
Suspense and mystery are part of what makes a good story. Those elements of drama combine to draw in the reader or viewer, until you feel a part of the action. For a few moments, their story becomes your story. “This is killing me!” you exclaim as you virtually hang by your bleeding fingertips on the cliff of suspense.
If you were a Seattle Seahawks fan watching your team during Super Bowl XLIX it meant a roller coaster of emotions. Full of cliffhangers, the game was the most watched program in television history. Once again gaining and then losing the lead with two minutes to go, the Hawks gain possession again and a glimmer of hope emerges. Moving the ball down the field, with 26 seconds left on the clock, every Seahawks fan anticipated this would be the final play, only inches away from victory. The tension mounts as the ball is snapped when, surprise! Russell Wilson throws an unexpected pass that gets snatched away and with it our hopes are dashed. Game over, and not as we anticipated.
Not what we anticipated. Opportunity snatched away. Tension gives way to disappointment or disaster. The crash when we lose our grip on the cliff can paralyze us from making another attempt. “Never again” we may proclaim, robbing ourselves of even attempting to making it to the verge of success again.
But we don’t enjoy wallowing in self-pity or just playing it safe forever. Hope springs forth and we may find ourselves asking, “What if? Maybe it is possible to get up and try again.” Once more the suspense builds until we find a way to move on.
Pendulum clocks generally attach the pendulum using a flexible piece of forged steel, called a suspension spring. It works along with the main time spring to create tension and keep the clock ticking through the back and forth motion of the pendulum. While the mainspring provides continuous power, the suspension spring does its job by simply being flexible enough to bend back and forth, time after time for days, weeks, months, and years at a time. Remember, the suspension spring is made of forged steel = it has been through the fire.
Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken. So what is the catalyst in your life to spring you forward? How has the forge and fire of failure made you more flexible? How can you increase that flexibility and use the tension in your circumstances to bounce back? How can you leverage the resources you do possess to your advantage? How long will you remain in suspension before you take action? Who could you talk to and explore these questions? Next post we’ll discover some options for the power to move forward.