Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Trapeze

Last week our pastor talked about how trusting God's leading is a bit like jumping from one trapeze to another. The picture at the left is not as clear as I would like, but then neither is the path that God has for us.

The picture is from an "outward bound" type of management training session. I went to one of these workshops nearly 20 years ago when I was with American Airlines Sabre division. It was put on by a firm called SportsMind™. The picture is from an exercise called the trapeze.

The first thing that happens is that you climb a telephone pole that has "steps" nailed to it. On the top of the pole is a little wooden disk, about 12" in diameter or about the size of a small pizza pan. When you get to the top of the pole, you have to climb up on the disk and stand up, turn around and then jump out about 6 1/2 ft to grab a trapeze.

OK, I'm afraid of heights. Actually it is more than that, it is actually a fear of falling off of high things or worse, being pushed.

Sometimes this is what life feels like - scaling something impossible, only to have to balance on something equally impossible and having to jump from there to something even more impossible.

What if I lose my balance? What if I fall?

What I didn't tell you is that at SportsMind, they start by attaching you to ropes that allow your colleagues to hold on to you as you are climbing, and if you fall, they are able to steady the ropes and the carabiners and beley lines keep you from falling as they control your descent.

This is exactly like faith. God never allows us to take those chances without having a solid grasp on the beley lines of our life. He won't let us fall.

Back to my jump. I was scared. Even though the beley lines were there and I knew my colleagues had a good handle on the ropes. But did I trust them?? We hadn't exactly been working as a team leading up to the executive retreat, which was largely the reason we were all there.

I climbed the pole with relative ease, but getting up on the disk was harder than I ever imagined. And turning around to face the trapeze was even harder. When I finally got steady and I jumped, it was amazing. Someone got a picture of me totally in flight. I reached and I caught the trapeze.

What a rush!

I let go and my teammates guided me slowly and safely to the ground.

I wanted to do it again!

If you are just reading this post not having read the one below it, now listen to the song by Twila Paris. "Do I trust you Lord" is the refrain of the song.

Do I trust you Lord? You bet.

Chicke Fitzgerald

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