The Obstacle Course

Writer Author  Jennifer Leigh Ryan
Christian Article : Other  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Cocking my head back, I gawked at the contraption above. Boy, was it high! It looked just like a bunch of power lines. Who was I kidding? Like I could really scale this gorillas’ playground. For some reason, I was clueless as to how scary it would be. This is quite unusual, mind you, as I’m the type of gal who never baits her own hook. Plus, I drive the in slow lane, just in case. Me, standing in line to walk a tightrope without a net?

It had to be God.

I watched those ahead of me. Simple. Climb up the pole, walk across the little rope and presto! Zoom to the ground like a marine on a zip line. It’s a little high, but not to worry. We all should walk a tightrope.

When my turn came, I knew the drill. Step into the harness. Connect the buckles. Place the too small helmet on my too big head. It felt like an overgrown chastity belt. When I got semi-comfortable, my spotter--fulfilling his summer job duties-- yanked my buckles with brute force. YANK!

“Ouch!” I said, feeling just like Italian sausage looks. My body was bulging in ways no woman ever wants to be caught. Hide the camera, I’ve never been “harnessed” before. With no relief in sight, I started my ascent, grumbling.

“HELP! GET ME!!” A stream of screams broke out from one of the other courses. Did someone fall? We all rushed to gawk. “HELP. HELP. NO. NO. NO. GET ME DOWN!” A spooked teenage girl was stranded midway through her course clinging onto two huge beams, a spectacle on air. She refused to be comforted. Her spotters rescued her.

I returned to my station more cautious. "Are you sure my harness is secure?"

"Secure." The young man answered, jolting my rope.

“Who will be backing you up?” I said. “Shouldn’t there be two of you?” (Yes, I was counting.)

Once my two helpers were in place, I slowly climbed the pole. So this is how a telephone man feels.

As I climbed higher, electric fear zipped through my body. At the top, I realized just what I’d gotten myself into. Hell! What on earth was I thinking? I closed my eyes. I opened them. I closed them again. Jeepers! Won’t this nightmare go away? I volunteered to venture into the sky on nothing but a rope? Hello. Couldn’t I just do my nails up here? Pick tar off the pole? yodel? Mr. Fear invited its relatives over--the What Ifs. What if the rope breaks? What if I fall? What if I die? My adrenaline soared to Level Terror.

"C’mon, we have the rope!” My smarty pants spotter said, snapping it. “You’re okay. Take a step."

Doesn’t he know I’m old enough to be his mother? I ignored my mind’s advice and stepped out literally throwing caution to the wind. Like a big noodle, my balance forsook me. Thank God I did not die. My harness held me steady (albeit painfully). For days it seemed I inched along the floppy rope with burning muscles and hands. Gravity wanted me dead and my harness wanted me alive with me in the middle just trying to hang on.

Each time I wobbled--which was often--my competent spotters yanked the pulley-like ropes to restore me. Sometimes I relied on the harness to hold me up, too exhausted to lug another knot. I tested my harness too. Did it really have me? Should I believe my doubts or just have faith in the harness?

I respected that harness—the very keeper of my life. You know, I didn’t feel safe in my heart, but my mind logically I knew I was safe. Aren't my feelings supposed to respond to what I know? Couldn’t I trust my harness? My spotters? Questions like firecrackers popped into my brain.

"What are you thinking up there?" They coached me from below. “Are you facing your fears?”

“Yes,” I said. “I see God in all of this.” I paused. “Our lives are an obstacle course. We walk on our own and if we wobble, He strengthens us. If we fall, He catches us.” It was like I was privy to some new revelation; the spotters and I were in a special club now.

The last stretch of tightrope became a humbling crawl. Wilted and relieved I fell onto the final platform to be whisked down the zip line to the solid, solid ground. Once safe I kissed the ground and convincingly uttered my thoughts.

"God is holding our ropes."

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalms 37:23, 24 NKJV

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Country: United States
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