We like to hear from our guests on the experiences they encounter during their retreat. This story is from Chrissy Stergos who recently visited Lake Williamson Christian Center and participated in the Eagle Crest Adventures Program.
Not long ago I spent some time dangling from a rope 30 feet off the ground. No big deal. I like to live on the edge.
Actually, I was at a youth event, and there was a high ropes course located inside a barn on the grounds of the retreat center. Never being one to shy away from adventure, I, of course, donned a harness, hooked the leads on to the overhead safety cables, and began the climb. There was a network of almost impossible challenges, and the more of those I worked through, the higher I found myself.
There were unevenly spaced planks and wooden boxes strung together on thin wires run through the center, allowing them to swivel depending on where my weight landed. There were obstacles hung in between me and the goal, to be worked around at a 30' altitude with nothing but a tightrope for my feet. It was fun stuff, if you weren't afraid of heights, and I wasn't.
But I was paired with a younger girl, and had spent no small amount of time talking her through this thing. We were working through the course side by side, and for her, the height was a big challenge. She was afraid, and anxious, but she was determined. Once or twice she cried, but I was determined, too. I wanted to see her succeed. So I talked to her. I told her to lean into her harness, to feel the security of it. I told her to trust it, even though she was afraid. I told her that she could proceed with confidence because she had the safety harness on, with leads connected to secure overhead safety cables and she could not fall far before the rope caught her.
But, is it dangerous? Because it feels dangerous! She questioned the safety of the course repeatedly as we continued to navigate the various challenges. And there were things that we could have done to intentionally jeopardize our safety. But if we payed attention to the instructions we'd been given, it was really a matter of staying connected to the overhead safety cable, going only as far is it would let us and trusting that IF we miss a step, well, we may spend some uncomfortable or embarrassing time dangling from a rope. But after that, We could pull our way up and back on course, We'd be fine. And we'd be able to continue forward with better knowledge and skill about how to proceed in the future.
That's what life with Jesus is like when we stay connected to Him. We have the eternal God living within us. Grace is wrapped around us like a safety sling and Jesus' voice beckons us to move through life's challenges secure in the knowledge that He's got us. We can't fall far before He catches us.
As my young friend courageously progressed, needing less and less from me, I worked through my own course, hopping from board to board, maneuvering around obstacles and hanging on to my rope for dear life. My biceps began to tire from clinging so fiercely, because even after my elongated speech to my young friend, everything in me told me to hold on for dear life.