stepping out in faith
Taking a "step of faith" sometimes means moving forward in the face of strong fears.
Recently my wife and I vacationed (along with our daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren) in the beautiful Winter Park area of Colorado. While there we got to spend some time at Snow Mountain Ranch (near Granby) and a friend of ours arranged for our son, daughter, and grandsons to ride the "zip line" that stretches across the Snow Mountain Ranch valley. To ride the zip line, however, requires one first to climb to the top of a 35' tower, get "hooked up," then step off of the edge of the tower and allow the force of gravity to pull you down the mountain side. For most people, this climb and ride provokes a heightened level of anxiety and requires taking a definite "step of faith."...
Looking at the height of the "launch tower" and considering the choice of either climbing a 35' poll (straight up) or a wobbly ladder, one of my grandsons decided this was probably not a good idea for him. My wife, however, stepped up and said that she would willing to utilize his ticket take his turn! So, at 70 years of age (almost 71) and suffering from a moderate degree of neuropathy in her feet, my wife started up the poll. (As she started to climb I gave her a kiss, just incase it might be our last)! Upon successfully climbing to top she was "hooked up" to the zip line and instructed to place her feet at the edge of the tower then simply "sit down" in the harness and allow the line to carry her away. That, she said later, proved to be the hardest part of the adventure.
Later, when she described her experience, she said that climbing up the poll was not too bad: She said she simply took it one rung at a time and tried not to think about how high she was getting until she reached the top. But, with lack of feeling in her feet (and rather poor balance) approaching the edge of the tower and sitting down into the harness required considerable faith to overcome fear. The end result, however, was an amazing ride across a beautiful valley with husband, children, friends, and bystanders all cheering her on from below. The attendant told her that she was the 2nd oldest person to ever climb the tower and ride down and the oldest women to complete the ride. For her (and her very nervous husband) it was an amazing event.
My wife's amazing experience illustrates some significant life lessons: There are times when, even though the "tower is tall" we simply have to keep climbing - one rung at a time. There are times when we simply cannot extract ourselves from danger - we have to simply "sit down" and rest ourselves in Christ who has promised to carry us through affliction and trial. There are times when we have to "step out" in faith and hopefully, enjoy the ride and behold the marvelous view.
I sent a video of my wife's zip line experience to a number of our family and friends and one responded, "When are we going to see the video of you taking your zip line ride?" My response was: "You won't see me doing that; I learned my lesson about "stepping out in faith" simply by watching my wife!" Still, there are times when "stepping out in faith" is something that all of us are called to do!
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Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.