My cousin, Malaysia, is a New Yorker to her core. Born and bred there, she visited her southern relatives only during the summer months, on school vacations. It was on one of her southbound excursions that she introduced Double Dutch Jump Rope to her young cousins. My sisters and I were giddy as all get out. We couldn’t wait to show our neighborhood friends this new city-slick trick. I’m a small-town girl from the backwoods of Georgia, and I’m both humbled and honored by my roots, but we were a little slow back then when it came to being up to snuff on the latest. Cable television was virtually nonexistent (I’m dating myself), and the internet was for us an unexplored frontier. In our huge backyard, we jumped rope; played hopscotch, dodgeball, and kickball, but Double Dutch was a whole other level of fun. It took skill, and my cousin was oh so sassy with it. I had as much rhythm as she did, but those egg-beating ropes were too much for me to maneuver. I couldn’t get the swing of jumping in at the right time. Suffice it to say, I never quite got the hang of Double Dutch.
Watching the double ropes twist and turn, I was captivated by the dare to jump in and immediately synchronize my jumps with the swing of those ropes. The thing with most of us is that even after we grow into adults, we never stop wanting to jump in. Our Heavenly Father designed life to be an ever moving dynamic. It neither slows down or speeds up according to our schedules. If we lack the agility to keep up with its pace, it will pass us by; and if we try to move ahead of it, life has a way of slowing us down. And sometimes that’s not so pretty.
All of us are trying to achieve a rhythm in life that moves harmoniously with its flow. Like Double Dutch, we jump in it, not thinking for a moment about who’s actually turning those ropes. We can be easily tricked this way. In 2Samuel 22:6 (NLT), David sang a song about how God rescued him from his enemies. He said, “The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path.” We can become so entangled with troublesome relationships and situations that ropes feel like chains, trapping us with such emotional turmoil that we feel powerless. We want to love and be loved, but the person turning our ropes is toxic, and we don’t know how to jump out.
Double Dutch is fun, no question about that, and those that are good at it make it look effortless. They make the dare seem well worth it, but life isn’t always easy. Even though it is often filled with fun and excitement, it can be wrought with entanglements.
My cousin did her best to teach me the ropes, but I couldn’t synchronize my moves with the pace of the person doing the turning. Many of us need to recognize when this happens in life. Whenever we are out of synch with God’s timing, peace, and love, it’s because we’ve given the wrong person the ropes; and they will most assuredly turn into chains.
We don’t have to be experts at jumping in order to master life, but it is unequivocally and resoundingly true that life requires a Master. As men and women who dare to live the more than abundant life that Jesus Christ made available, we desperately need him at the helm. Psalm 129:4 says that the Lord will cut us free from the ropes of the ungodly. He will guide us in our lives and help us keep pace with all that God has in store for us. I suppose jumping Double Dutch with chains is possible, but where’s the fun in that? It’s not the way God intends life to be lived. If we will just give Him the ropes, we can jump in synch with His love, and never have to worry about jumping out. ■
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Trying to Jump Double Dutch with Chains” written by Fran, edited by PMB for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!