Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hanging with Jesus

I must put this disclaimer on here: There are 2 spots where I was going to put pictures in, but my computer is not cooperating. I have had this ready to post for 2 weeks, but I wanted to put the pictures with it. So I appologize for there not being any pictures and I will try to get them on here as soon as my computer lets me.

Wow! Long time, no write. I have really been slacking. I have been slacking in more than just my blogging, but I am getting back together and motivated. I have had lots on my heart to share I just haven't shared for a while. So, today I am going to take some time and tell you about a thought-changing experience I had this summer.

I went to a camp with my youth kids called Jungle Jump Off. It is a missions camp that is part of Wycliffe. We spent a week in the woods camping, cooking, working, and learning about the ministry of Bible translation. We also engaged in several team building activities.

One of the most challenging activities was a high ropes course. It is a challenge course that is 45 feet off the ground with 9 obstacles to complete. This is a huge challenge for someone who is scared to death of heights. My goal was to climb up the first pole and rapel down. I had agreed to be partners with my best friend who went up before me and and was waiting for me on a rope walk. Well, I made it up, cried all the way, tried to quit a few times, but I couldn't disappoint Karissa. We went through the first 2 obstacles together - they were partner work. The next 2 obstacles were individual. I really started to notice the spiritual aspect of the whole thing. Each obstacle began with a 1.5 foot drop down to a rope or swinging aparatus. It took faith: faith to step down, faith that the rope would hold, faith that your safety line would hold if you fell. I truly began to see a correlation between this ropes course and my spiritual walk. How many times do I approach an obstacle that seems impossible? How much faith does it take to walk forward despite the challenge that lies ahead?

The third obstacle was my breaking point. It was swings these swings (INSERT PICTURE). I had to step out onto it. To do that, I had to pull the swing to me, meaning that it would swing out as soon as I stepped. AFter 10-15 minutes of crying and yelling and doubting, I stepped . . . . . . . . and I fell! So, there I am hanging, angry, exhausted, and ready to give up (not caring about the line of people behind me). I was convinced that I was giong to have to have a crane come and get me down because I could not get up. So, I proceeded to just hang there (INSERT PICTURE). I was so angry with God for sending me to the camp, to the ropes course, and mostly for letting me fall. I layed there and argued with Jesus. I could not believe he let me fall like that! I didn't know what else to do so I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed ( for those of you who know me, you can get a good mental picture of this).

Then I heard it . . . . . . a fatherly voice, very stern, "How many times have you fallen in your walk with me? How many times have I left you there to fend for yourself? What happens when you ask for help? Why aren't you asking and BELIEVING?" So, I asked, "Jesus, please help me get back on my feet." Before I knew it, I was standing on the swing. I finished the swings and rapelled down. (I didn't do the whole course because my knee was telling me no more).

I cried to hard when my feet hit the ground. The emotions are hard to describe: exhaustion, happiness, fear, brokenness. Jesus spoke to me through the course. He showed me that I am never alone. First, he is always there to catch me - my safety line. Second, he provides intimate relationships to encourage me - like Karissa. Third, he is ready to pick me up if I would just ask.

With all of that being said, do you find yourself carrying your load or are you hanging with Jesus? Try it. Let me know how it goes.