Have you ever been rappelling? For the uninitiated, it is essentially the opposite of rock-climbing. It’s all about the descent, stepping off the edge of a cliff and riding down. It’s quite a rush, especially for someone like myself who is afraid of heights! My first experience with rappelling was on a trip to Colorado when I was in college. The cliff was over 100 feet high, and I was on top… utterly terrified… knees shaking… about to puke. The thing with me and heights is that I am both terrified, and tantalized by them. I love the rush of adrenalin that the fear brings! Roller Coasters just rock my world, I’d love to sky dive, or hang glide, even bungy jump. But I digress… back to that 100 foot cliff. I remember standing there at the top staring down and thinking “I can’t do this, I’d have to be insane” but at the same time wanting so badly to do it, if only to prove to myself that I could. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity but could not take that tiny, backwards step off the edge. Noticing the air of impatience in the growing line behind me, I finally said to the instructor, “Just push me! I just need a little shove off the edge.” And so he did just that! He put his hand on my shoulders, gave a gentle shove, and down I went. And oh what a ride it was! The view was breathtaking, the ride itself was amazing. The minute I landed, I unstrapped my harness and sprinted back up the side of the cliff to do it all over again… this time NO PUSH NEEDED!
I think this is a good analogy for my life, especially lately. In the last six months, God has really been challenging me to do some big things! Scary things, things I think I just can’t possibly do. Some of them have been pretty life-altering decisions. I always think that I have so much faith, but when up I’m on the edge of a cliff, I realize how faithless I really can be. I start to question God and His will for me, maybe more accurately, I begin to question my ability to interpret His will for me. I’ve heard a hundred times that God will not give us any trial that is beyond what we can endure. So, there must be some kind of misunderstanding here! “God, you didn’t LITERALLY mean you wanted me to jump off that cliff, did you? That was just a METAPHOR, right?”
Then He gently reminds me… not by my own power, not by my own abilities, not by my own knowledge do I accomplish anything. Only with His strength can I do anything. Sometimes His strength comes to me in the form of other people. In the midst of this all, God has been faithful and has provided me with some amazing friends who are always willing to give me that much needed shove! So far, it’s been just like my first rappelling experience, that first step is excruciating but the wonder, the beauty, and the blessing that comes along with the ride makes it all worthwhile! The challenges keep coming, and it’s still not always easy to just have faith and leap. I need your encouragement, I need your prodding! I will always need people who are willing to push! Who’s next?
Do YOU want to push me off a cliff?