One of the places we stopped at during the birthday weekend was a little seaside pier. Your standard pier, with roller coasters, laser tag, and carousels and bumper cars. and a ropes course, where you've got a harness on, and a rope connecting your harness to a track above you. And then you maneuvered yourself around different obstacles, ropes, steps, etc, all while connected to the track above you.
Here’s some pictures from the internet to give you an idea of what it looked like (minus the cruise ship in the background)
It looked like a lot of fun, and for two seconds, I was tempted to try it.
But then I saw a little girl up there. Maybe 5 or 6. A quick glance of the situation showed that her brother was already zooming around the course, having a blast. Her mom was on the ground, encouraging her to try. I thought I was gonna see some amazing confidence, a true feat of a Child Gaining Courage And Overcoming Her Fears. It was going to be awesome.
But not to be.
The little girl, while not outright bawling and throwing a fit (probably because she was a good twelve feet off the ground), definitely had Trembly Lip and Teary Eyes going. She knew the situation. She knew (or at least I thought she knew) that there was no real threat of her falling. She was safely inside her harness, the harness was safely attached to the rope and track above. There could be no safer way for her to try and explore and do something really cool and fun.
But she couldn't bring herself to try.
She eased one foot out, then another. Then stopped. Her dad suited up and joined her up there, again encouraging her to try. Just try.
The little girl did not want to try. Trembly Lip and Teary Eyes prevailed. She shook her head and eventually made her way back down to safe ground.
I guess you could said she DID try. Tried for two steps, enough to know she didn’t want to do it and back down she goes. But it would’ve have been so much fun to, what, what, try harder? To overcome a fear? To realize you’re stronger than you think?
That girl is going to be sticking with me for a while, I think. What is it I’m afraid of? What is it you’re afraid of?
Are we going to go all Trembly Lip and Teary Eyes and not try to literally stick out foot out, one by one, to explore new ropes, new obstacles, new territories, just because it feels unsafe? Don’t we know we’ve got God on our side, that we can’t fall, that he is our rope/carabiner combo tethering us?
Always try. Always try harder (not talking about salvation here). Always come right up close to your fear and stick it out for two seconds longer than you think you can. Amazing things might happen if you do.