Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sky High

Privileged to be a guest contributor at 5 Minutes for Faith again! 
Here's my post for the day:

“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)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012



That's appoximately how many feet deep Tallulah Falls Gorge is from top to bottom.  Considered one of the seven natural wonders of Georgia, the base reveals raging waters, spraying mists and glistening rocks.  And we had the privilege of seeing it all yesterday as we trekked our way up to the North Georgia Mountains.

Following a sharp descent of hundreds of stairs, we found ourselves at the bottom of the gorge.  In front of us was Hurricane Falls, the largest boasting waterfall in the park.  And all around us, beauty stamped with the design of its Maker.

Then it was time to turn around and go back up.  Time to ascend this hill to the top of the gorge.  There was more.  Much more for us to see and experience during our little field trip this fall.

That's how many total steps one must be willing to climb in order to embrace the majesty of Tallulah Falls.

My girls and I were willing.  As a matter a fact, we braved each and every one of those intimidating steps.  With no whining.  No complaining.  No belly-aching.  Just a quick stop every now and then to rest on a bench as we made our way up.  And surprisingly, my five year old led us the whole way.

As we neared the top of the steepest and longest incline of stairs, my youngest asked,
"Which way do we go, Mommy?  To the left or the right?"

Map in hand, I stopped and showed my girls the direction in which we needed to go.  Our adventure continued as we navigated the rim trails by following the way set out before us. 

A couple of times we were tempted to veer off the path and head in other directions.  But if we had, we might not have made it to our destination--where we really needed to go.  We might have missed out on the awe-inspiring views surrounding us.

"Stop at the crossroads and look around; ask for the ancient paths.
Where is the good way?
Then walk in it and find a resting place for yourselves."
Jeremiah 6:16 (CEB)

From the highest of heights and the varying overlook points, we witnessed the wonder of five different cascading waterfalls.  They were powerful.  And constant.  And unpredictable.

That's the minimum number of things I am grateful for in my life right now and from this trip to Tallulah Falls. 
We came.  We saw.  We climbed.
And going from one extreme to the next in the midst of the gorge, prompted this response:

"Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there."
Ps. 139:7-8 (NIV)

That's the number of extraordinary ways our Creator shows Himself, His love, His Word, and His presence in the midst of our ordinary days.  Let's keep our eyes open and be amazed.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...