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faith on a {zip} line

i committed well before i knew what i was in for. you see, i’ve never zip lined before, i’ve never even seen one from the top! but i said i was going to do it at family camp this year, and when we got our schedules zip lining was on day 1. only day 1.

i thought fine. it’s fine. it’ll be fine.

and so i pulled on my swim suit and harness and hiked the meandering dirt trail to the top. over rocks and roots my feet carried me up. a friend went before me, it was her first time too. i watched from below as a camp staffer checked her harness and secured her to the line. he told her to go when she was ready. in less than a second she plunged from the platform, flipped her legs up over her head and soared gracefully over the water. i thought, ‘huh. cool. must not be that bad.’

with my harness secure i began climbing the tree. soon i ran out of footholds and had to use the metal u-bolts to continue up. as my body clung pitifully to the tree, my legs began to shake uncontrollably. hoisting myself up on the platform i realized i could neither turn around or sit down. so i did what any self-respecting person would do: i clung to the legs of the poor 20-something young man staffing the line!

as i sank to the platform, he double-checked my harness and fastened me {and my flip flops} to the line. i looked out at the path before me and thought surely i had made a huge mistake. the hard rocky ground was most definitely too close. the line wouldn’t hold, the harness might break, my hands were too sweaty, and my legs would not stop their determined shake!

i looked down at two friends standing below the platform, patiently and lovingly encouraging me on. i looked down at the path i had walked to the top. i found it interesting how the trail to the zip line is the same trail you take to hike to the cross.

in that moment i realized the status of my faith: that i can know the line will hold, and the harness will secure — but if i’m not actually able to step off the platform — how much do i really believe? how great is my faith?

there really wasn’t a good option at this point. i certainly couldn’t climb back down the tree, i barely made it up! and then, there was this faith thing. quietly convicted by the cross standing resolute on the rocky cliff, i knew the only way down required me to literally push myself off the platform. so with legs still shaking and teeth nearly chattering, i took a deep breath, leaned back and let go.

a half second drop and i felt the harness catch and take hold. as i soared safely over the cliff and out over the water i, too, flipped my legs over my head and looked upside down at the brilliant blue sky. thankful i let go. thankful for His faithfulness. at all times and in all ways He has come through for me. and though i have been through difficult times, and He hasn’t always answered my prayers, His story has proved far better than mine.

a simple thing like stepping off a platform and trusting the constitution of a zip line reminded me to trust in a faith that is far bigger than my fears.

zip line of faith

how often do i fail to believe. or believe without employing the requisite faith. how often do i live as if my dreams are not possible.

as my feet hit the water and spun me around i felt invigorated! renewed and refreshed by literally stepping out and practicing faith. and though my landing was a bit rough and i did momentarily lose my bottoms, i wonder if perhaps that’s just sometimes part of the deal! when we step out in faith, we find that He carries us, even if it might seem at times that the bottom falls out.

we never know the ending; where this journey of life will take us. but true faith is in the living. forged and tested in the simple things. the daily things. trusting that He will reclaim, redeem, restore and rebuild.

being faithful in small things leads to faith in all things.

how can you practice faith today? take a risk. push off the platform. your harness will catch. rest in a faith that is so much greater than your fear.


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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Melanie August 21, 2013, 4:19 am

    Looooove this!!!

  • Kelly August 21, 2013, 2:44 pm

    So great tam! Well said and so proud of your leap!!! You’ve taken so many and God has always been there!!! 🙂 love you!

    • Tammy August 21, 2013, 3:17 pm

      thanks for always being there friend! now if i could only get you closer… love you SO MUCH! xoxo

  • Kristi August 21, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how many spiritual truths can be learned at camp! There is freedom in trust. It isn’t automatic and it has to be both earned and learned, yet when we trust we are truly free to soar! It’s true of our relationship with God and all our relationships with eachother. What a blessing to have that freedom! Love you Tammy!

    • Tammy August 22, 2013, 4:52 am

      truly a blessing. love you back, graceful glider! 😉

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