On Friday Night, January 26, 1979… The Dukes of Hazard premiered on CBS as a mid-season replacement.  It went on to air 147 episodes and became the staple of CBS’s Friday Night lineup through 1985.  And it had EVERYTHING a 7 year old boy could want…

And when I say that, I’m talking WAY beyond the obvious things like the car chases, the impossible bow & arrow shots from moving vehicles, or the fact that something had to blow up every other episode.  It had a spirit of rebellion that resonates with every boy on the journey to manhood.  It was about doing the right thing, no matter what the cost seemed to be.  It was literally Good versus Evil every Friday Night.  And somehow…  impossibly… GOOD ALWAYS WON!!!…  Seriously folks, this was weighty stuff that was packed into each one hour episode………  There was also Catherine Bach…


One of the iconic events in every episode was the Duke boys jumping their 1969 Dodge Charger over some river or through some barn.  Somehow, no other car in Hazard County could figure out how to make those jumps, but the General always stuck the landing & kept on going.  Now in reality, they estimate that they destroyed somewhere close to 300 Dodge Chargers filming all those seasons of the show.  Because back in the day, there was no such thing as CGI…

But these car jumps were not the biggest thing about the show that resonated with me. When this show was in its prime, I was still years from even driving a car.  And the car I would start out driving was barely capable of jumping cracks in the asphalt.

For me, it was always about Bo & Luke, jumping out of the loft of some barn to catch the bad guys… JUST BEFORE they got away.  It didn’t happen in every show, but often enough that it became a thing.  And THIS I could relate to!…  I knew barns!…  I knew how to jump!…  I’ll pause here while everybody catches up with where this is going…


So long before my cousin & I would jam on electric guitars during family get-togethers, we found other ways to entertain ourselves.  Like playing “Dukes of Hazard” of course…  And my grandfather had a sprawling farm in central NC that provided the perfect backdrop.  Seriously.. I’m talking cows, chickens, tractors, the whole nine yards…  And of course, the centerpiece was… THE BARN…

I can’t recall what I was really thinking as I stood in the loft that day.  Probably that there were bad guys getting away & I had to do something.  I do remember looking over the ledge of the loft at the ground below only once…  Because I can still hear my own voice ringing in my head 30+ years later…  “That doesn’t look so far…”

So without much more thought than this, I jumped…  And I accelerated to the earth below at 9.8 meters/second square…  Or 32.2 feet/second square if you’re too American to embrace the Metric System.

Either way… 12 feet later I hit the ground with a THUMP…  I jumped up immediately, but I was wobbling around like Michael Spinks after 91 seconds with Mike Tyson…  I think I stumbled past my cousin and at this point attempted to form a word…

Prior to that point, I had no concept of getting the wind knocked of me… Like I didn’t even know it was a thing…  I gasped for air, tying to form words… ANY words…  If I’d been old enough to curse, those are the words I would have chosen.  But no… I had to flop around like a goldfish that jumped out of the bowl for a good 2-3 minutes before air finally returned to my lungs.

And that was when I realized that my right ankle hurt like HELL!…  But I wouldn’t have said it like that at the time, because curse words hadn’t been invented yet.  Fortunately, there was nothing broken, but it was one vicious sprain that had me hopping around 2nd grade on one foot for a month or more because I hated those crutches…


It’s a sobering moment when a boy realizes he doesn’t measure up to his heroes.  And it doesn’t matter if your hero is Bo Duke, Bruce Wayne, or Michael Jordan… Sooner or later, we all have to face the fact that we fall short of those guys in one way or another.  Sadly, some boys get stuck right there & never really grow out of it.  They never recognize that their heroes are flawed too, if not entirely fictional in the first place.  And as a result, they never ultimately find the power & strength that they do possess and that the world desperately needs.  But this is another blog post for another time perhaps…


My landing point for this post instead is this…  I’ve rarely leaped as freely as I did that day…  Whether its been relationships… or career… or my faith… The world taught me I had to be cautious in these things.  That I needed to move slowly and anticipate all the possible outcomes.  Otherwise, I might end up hurt… flopping around on the ground, gasping for air.

But that’s not how we’re called to live… We’re called by Christ to live with boldness… Not reckless, but also not fearful… And so I’ve spent the last 13 years UNLEARNING all the things my first 31 years taught me.  And so I push myself out onto the ledge more frequently now & I try to give less thought to outcomes…  And occasionally, gravity still wins…  But quite often, it does not… And the bad guys get caught!

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