Sky High

“Step. Slide. Hang on tight. Breathe.
Okay. Good. Now, repeat.
One more thing.
Whatever you do… don’t look down.”

I whispered these words to myself as I stood on a wooden bridge, high in the air. I was attached by a simple harness and pulley system, facing a fear I didn’t even know I possessed.

Going to Stone Mountain Park was my idea that hot summer day. Standing in line for Sky Hike, the adventure ropes course, was my idea, too. But fear was never part of the agenda.

Following each platform pit-stop is a pair of apparatus. Each climber must choose which path to take. One is deemed easier. One, a tad more challenging. Every time, I went with the simpler path. I was determined to take the easy way out. Literally.

Until Billy saw me. Billy worked at the park. His job was to help those with weak and shaky knees cross the ropes. He came straight toward me, pointed and said, “Try this one.”

I replied, “No thanks. I’m good. I like this one. It’s easier.”

His reply, “I know. But this one is more fun and you’re almost at the end. You should know how it feels to cross this rope before you’re done. Don’t worry. I’m right here.”

He extended his hand. I looked. I thought. I refused.

I shook off his offer of help, but not his suggestion for a challenge. I took a couple of steps onto the more difficult, one-inch tightrope, and then I froze. I thought I could do it by myself. I reasoned that after his pep talk, I was ready to do it by myself. Wrong.

Still watching me with extended hand, Billy waited. As awkward as I felt relying on a perfect stranger for help, I reached for his hand. Still moving slowly, I let him guide me across the remainder of the rope and onto the safety of the deck.

I was finished with level one, but not with my lesson for the day. Throughout the course, I saw that when faced with a decision I yield to the easy path. I shun the hard stuff because…well…it’s hard. And sometimes, I refuse to accept help when I need it most.

Since then, our little daredevil family has returned to brave Sky Hike two more times. The last time, I courageously conquered all three levels—climbing, balancing and mastering the course, suspended 40 feet above the ground. While exiting level three, an employee asked me, “So…how was it?”

“It was scary, but I finished! Do I get a sticker? Or is there a bell I can ring? A bugle to blow? Something to announce to everyone that I did it?”

She laughed and said, “We should. But I’ll shout it for you. ‘She did it! She finished! Great job!’”  Triumphantly, I walked away knowing this was so much more than just a great activity at a great park. It was also a great life-lesson.

I can choose to face the hard stuff in my life because my God is already there, just ahead of me. He sees me panic-stricken and trembling in my soul. He knows the moment my faith freezes and He comes. He sees me looking down at my circumstances instead of up at His face. He waits for me to take His hand.

And when I do, He will guide me through it to the other side, declaring, “You did it! You finished. Great job!”

With this news…encourage those who have weak knees.
 Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, & do not fear, for your God is coming…He is coming to save you.” Is. 35:3-4 (NLT)

Michele is the wife to an amazing husband of fourteen years and mother to two delightful daughters. Though once an elementary school teacher, she presently serves as the home manager and calendar keeper of all the details of her family’s life. In her spare time, she enjoys running, working out, reading, teaching, finding a great bargain, and making memories with her family and friends. Most of all, she cherishes the spontaneous, teachable, God-given moments which occur in the midst of everyday situations in her everyday life. You can visit Michele at her blog, Following the Forts.

2 Responses to Sky High
  1. Karen Allen
    October 15, 2012 | 6:43 am

    Well written and beautifully put!! Thank you for sharing your journey…across the rope AND across the journey of when fear meets faith. Love this!!! Thanks again for sharing…and congrats on conquering the 3rd level to Sky Hike. I wish I had a sticker to give you…or a bell to ring…or a bugle to blow!!!!

  2. Sherry
    October 15, 2012 | 6:27 pm

    He sees, He knows, He waits, He guides. I love this translation of Isa 35:3-4 (NLT) Isn’t He amazing? I don’t have anything to fear, as long as I look up for His hand. This has blessed me today, thank you!