I sat, securely in a harness, suspended from a cable about fifteen feet off the ground. My husband walked alongside my kids who were down below cheering excitedly. They pulled me and my attached equipment to the starting point where they’d release the rope and send me sailing on a zip line amidst a thickly wooded grassland.
Enthusiasm? Not from me at this moment.
When my family was invited to an evening of fun at what has been dubbed “magical” Narnia, we quickly accepted the offer. This tiny slice of Heaven belongs to our Pastor and his wife and sits on ten acres with a river gently flowing along the edge of the property. With four-wheeler trails, rope swings, a camp fire area, shooting range, zip line, and lots of space to climb, roam and explore, it really is a good time for an outdoor enthusiast and it’s entertained many over the years.
But as I sat anxiously, about to be whisked away, I was far from impressed but hesitantly persisted on—in hopes of overcoming my fear. Knowing the set-up was completely secure still didn’t alleviate my anxiety. I tried to ease my mind—It’ll be over in seconds…I’m probably the five hundred and eleventh person to use this zip line…my insurance deductible has already been met this year…my kids and many others have been zip lining all evening and they’re still in one piece…
Let me tell you, when you’re afraid of heights—NONE of these things matter—AT ALL.
Without warning, my family freed the pull-rope and there I went zipping along wildly at the expense of Tarzan and his chimp’s amusement, AKA Nate and kids. My emotional state heightened far beyond my physical suspended height, and when it looked as if I was going to smack a tree that sits way too close to the zip line trail it was game over for me. “I don’t like it!!” I shouted down to my amused onlookers.
And then just as soon as it began it ended. It was over. I made it to the end. I was safe.
…I thought about how at an earlier point in my life I had enjoyed the thrill of zip lining and other wild adventures.
But that was before a husband. Before kids. Before adult responsibilities.
The truth is though, my husband and kids are an adventure—every day of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! They’ve never tried to put a limit to “adventure.” So why would I not enjoy this type of entertainment now that I’m a wife and mom? Why would I allow fast and furious fun (like zip lining) to come to a halt, failing to enjoy myself? Why would I try to mess up a good time with unruly thoughts and feelings?
I was immediately disappointed that (once again) I missed an opportunity for potential fun because my attention was turned to the negative: I was too focused on the possibility of injuring myself.
…And I know I’m not alone in this struggle, too often our focus is zoomed in on the negative; or we desire to remain in a familiar comfort zone causing ourselves to step backward or linger at a standstill instead of moving forward.
Even just a sliver of negative is enough to hold us back from enjoying an exhilarating adventure. At times we make every effort to avoid the very thing that interest us because we think some part of it may go wrong.
What if I get hurt? What if I say something silly and embarrass myself? What if I apply and don’t get the job?
The problem with this type of “restrictive” mindset is that we risk missing the hopeful adventure within. And in the middle of our self-doubt we allow Satan thorough entertainment.
But “what if” we made it a point to change our perspective…always.
Always asking God to help us see Him through the lens of positive perspective. Because “what if” we don’t “break a leg” and end up having the time of our life? “What if” we say something ridiculously awkward and it just happens to be the very thing that catches someone’s attention and turns them to Christ? “What if” we apply and land the career of our dreams?
There’s always going to be obstacles, distractions, and challenges this side of Heaven because we live in a broken, messed up world but we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus—ALWAYS. This is something I need to work on and remind myself of more than daily.
Even when something doesn’t go as planned, we are still presented with the chance to grow and learn. Someone observing from the outside of our situation may even be encouraged or motivated as they watch our perseverance.
Understand that I’m not promoting risk-taking or an absence of caution but I am encouraging that we try things that captivate us even if it seems a bit scary—fully trusting God in the midst of every detail of our lives. Every minor to major detail of our life.
…When I looked back up the path where I had zip lined down, that tree that seemed so close to the trail as I whizzed by moments before, wasn’t actually as close as it felt after all.
With a new positive perspective and hope, I asked my family to pull me back up to the starting point. This time I focused on simply trusting God, having fun, and enjoying myself. And with no regrets I ended up at the finish line once again—this time with a smile of satisfaction.
The adventure becomes incredible only when we put our “zip” in-line with God’s will, keeping a Godly perspective all the while.
You may not be harnessing up for a zip line adventure or anything of the sort because maybe that’s just not your thing at all, but sometimes the trials and decisions in life feel like an uneasy roller coaster ride nonetheless and it’s enough to get our adrenaline on edge; know that whatever worry or negative hardship you might be facing—God is near. There’s always a lesson to be learned, whether we’re just getting out of a mess, currently going through one, or about to.
Believe and trust that God is still God, regardless of what you may be dealing with. He doesn’t want you to go it alone. Even difficulties have purpose, and allow us the potential to draw closer to Him as we experience His faithfulness, seeking His guidance and counseling in overcoming the hardship. And if you just can’t seem to get past your limited perspective, trust His! Pray, read scripture, and listen as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart.
For further studying click on link/read: Peter Walks on the Water
Photos of Mc, Paige, and Warren *May 2018