Low Ropes & Life
I just got done working with a junior-high group on our low ropes course. I never know where our debriefing will go, especially with this age group. So when I asked the students what worked for them to complete the challenge, I delighted in the ideas we came up with. I think the elements that helped them complete the low ropes course hold true in our Christian walk. Do you agree?
Breathe. Did you know that most people hold their breath while on the ropes course? It’s at those really intense moments that I will calmly remind a student to do something that should come so naturally, “Breathe.” It’s a simple, natural process that physically sustains life and allows us to think clearly. Spiritually, I need to remember to breathe when I find myself struggling. When I breathe in God’s word, when I breathe in His presence as I pray…then I experience refreshing and I refocus, clearly seeing His way.
Get some spotters. The ropes course would not be safe without spotters, and they keep encouraging each other. We all need people to catch us when we fall. We need someone to stand with us and say, “You can do this. You can make it to the end.” Do you have a support network? Are you supporting someone? We need each other, and sometimes if we’ll just admit we need help and reach out, we’ll find a willing a hand to hold.
Have patience; don’t rush. Many campers jump on a ropes-course element without a strategy. They just climb up and go. Don’t we often run ahead of God, forging a way in our own strength? God tells us to wait for His timing. He is the Good Shepherd who will lead us to good places and through hard struggles. But in order to let Him lead, we have to get behind Him. We must patiently follow.
Put on the proper equipment. On the low ropes, everyone wears a helmet, shoes and bug spray. As Christians, we have the armor of God. Are you as intentional about your spirit as you are about your physical being? I find it interesting that we spend so much time taking care of the flesh while our spirit suffers. Which one will last longer?
And balance. Most elements on the course require establishing one’s balance. This means putting all his weight and trust on the cable or rope, giving in completely and not holding back. I believe this is true spiritually as well. There is a balance that requires we lose all of ourselves because we cannot be in balance on our own. Acts 17:28a says, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Emphasis mine.)
Succeed. One of the best parts of the low ropes lies in its accomplishment. We don’t ask campers to try something they can’t possibly complete because we want them to face the challenge and succeed. This, too, is a lot like our life in Christ. God wants us to experience abundant joy (1 Peter 1:8), to finish the race strong (Phil. 3:14), to succeed (Revelation 2:10), and He promises to stick with us until we do—“…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
May you face today’s challenges with confidence, finding success because you are relying on God to keep you in balance.