The first trampoline was built by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in 1936 to help them with their circus act. Griswold – an alarming name! In 1942, Griswold and Nissen created the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company and began making trampolines commercially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
So that is a brief history of the common trampoline. Today there are above-ground trampolines, in-ground trampolines, mini trampolines and more. Most popular for family yards is a spring-free ’enclosed’ model. This type of trampoline allows the children to safely jump within the confines of the netting without limiting the fun.
The Garden of Genesis 1 was supposed to be such a place. Completely safe from evil without limiting the fun. Adam and Eve were given permission and, indeed, authority to ‘go for it’. Until they got tricked. The serpent convinced them that God was holding out on them and that, if they could somehow break through the net, they would become Gods themselves. They believed him. And things began to unravel. They didn’t feel safe anymore.
The Father sent Jesus to restore us. To demonstrate that we could be set free from that shame. Strangely enough, Jesus tells us that we actually can be like God – made in His image. Everything that Adam and Eve put on the line.
Religion is the definition of a platform with no bounce. Flat. Hard. Rigid. A religious spirit encourages us never to leave the surface – never to try to leave the mat. Jump at your own risk.
Instead, the New Covenant encourages us to jump – jump high. You will always return to the mat. And there is a bounce in the mat. Grace. The trampoline gently breaks our falls. As we mature we get more adept at jumping higher – seeing further - whilst still remaining dependent on God.
I recently took my grand-daughters to a fun park in the country. We went on the bouncy castle with them. It was wild. Hannes, Noah, me and two tiny girls. We jumped and fell over and flew down the inflated slides. The bounce made us fearless and full of energy. We were in our Garden of Eden – safe, shameless, family. And it was great fun.
Today I thank you God for putting the bounce in our faith. You have perfectly regulated the elasticity. Not too soft so as to suffocate us when we fall from a high place. And yet not too hard that we will break our bones on landing. Thanks.