Laurel Thomas

cliff diving Archive



April 2017



Unscripted Life

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I talked to a friend on Sunday. The kind of friend who’s such a thinker, I need a notepad when he shares a sentence or two.
“Are you getting those profound thoughts of yours out into cyberspace?” I asked.
“No. I’d have to validate everything I say. It would take forever to document it all.”
Document it all? A man of integrity, for sure. He has opinions, but wants to make sure they’re based on truth.

My caution was – don’t let pressure to perfect keep you from jumping off a cliff with what you believe you hear from God.

Cliff-jumping? How could that be God?

It’s like this. What I believe in my gut about God directs what I do and how I live. That’s a given – almost a cliché.

It’s more than that, though. I’ve lived a careful life. Like a mistake would throw me off course – maybe even propel me out of His plan. So, although I never voiced that opinion, I lived it. And my world suffered because of it.

What about the God of an unscripted life? You know, the God who is appropriate for an ever-changing world.

We all experience change. On a gut-level, I’ve despised it. Because my real issue is, “God, are You up to this?”

We’ve been taught that God is in control. After all, doesn’t He know everything before it happens? If so, where do we fit in?
God isn’t in control when babies are abused, when young girls and boys are sex-trafficked, or when there’s poverty and violence in our culture.

But He made a leap.
He decided to trust us – those who believe – trusting that we’ll partner with Him to let His goodness shape our world.
That takes a certain amount of cliff-jumping.

Me? I’m not God. No one believes I am, for that matter.
But when I act in His behalf, before I know or understand anything other than His nature – I cooperate with Him. I act out the truth of who I am. A child of God.

I’m formed in His image to effect change. The good kind. Because the world won’t change if I don’t act – like who I am.
That means I jump off the cliff of my own understanding. Maybe knowing just enough about “form” – His principles – to keep me from hurtling in the wrong direction.

But still ready to jump.
How about you?
Where will your leap take you? How will it change your world?

Shalom in the River,

Laurel Thomas



November 2014



Cliff Diving in the River

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Remember my last flying attempt? The one that dropped me to concrete pavement when I was four?
Pain helped me decide to limit my flying attempts to jumping around a lot and calling it flight.

Oh, dear. Truth smacks me in the face right now as surely as my bony knees met pavement many years ago. How could I believe that living in maintenance mode via fear could somehow be mistaken for flight?

Flight comes when I choose a platform of fear and jump, believing that wings will do what wings do on the way down – carry me. No platform, no leap, no flight.

I went to a writer’s conference yesterday and did what I hate most. I talked about my novel in front of not only strangers, but published strangers. Published in fiction. Yikes.

Missy (the main character in my story) didn’t seem very exciting by the time I answered a few questions about her, in public, by an adventurer, sci-fi/fantasy kind of professional.

I felt like I held my baby up to the gods, not knowing if they would hurl her to the rocks below.

This professional was kind and insightful. I was glad I took the plunge. I faced a fear about speaking in front of people I didn’t know about a subject I wasn’t sure about. Could I look like what I am, a novice writer, and be okay with that?

One of the exercises James Rubart recommended to us was to ask God to reveal a new name for us.

I knew a few names I had to cross off the list. Names I let get entrenched in ways that kept me from flying. I won’t mention those names. They aren’t nice. They were like nuggets of concrete tied to my feathers. Hence the hope that jumping around a lot equaled flight. Not so much.

I shot up a quick prayer to the Lord. How about me, Lord? Have a new name for me in this season? I gave Him a few suggestions. Was pretty sure they were mine, not His.

When I got to the book signing table, I introduced myself to this kind, talented, published writer. I said, “Just sign it ‘Laurel, alias cliff jumper’.”

What? Whose idea was that? Well I asked, didn’t I?

So my identity for this season is to jump off the platform of my greatest fears, not just once, but on a regular basis. That is, after all, my name. It’s who I am and what I do.

The Lord has a new name for each of us in this season. It doesn’t have to be a Bible name. It doesn’t even have to be spiritual. Just ask.

He has you on His mind in a very special way. For now and for all the tomorrows to come.

Laurel Thomas