This week I had the opportunity to watch as one of my children acted just like me. Fortunately for her, it was just on an amusement park ride. Unfortunately for me, it was a picture of how I often live out my faith.
To explain, my kiddos tried one of those rides where you bounce on a trampoline while strapped to a zillion bungee cords. You’re harnessed to the heavens and once the attendant gives you the go ahead, you are free to try to jump to them as well. My son took to it right away, hurling himself stories into the air.
Ironically, my daughter, who is usually my live life to the brim girl, had a completely different experience. For her, trust became elusive as soon as her feet hit the trampoline. When the guy strapped her in the harness, she inquired whether it was tight enough. He tightened it more – she repeated her question.
Once her harness was taken care of, her angst turned elsewhere. Despite the fact that people five times her size were doing cartwheels in the air, she refused to trust that the bungees would hold. I could see that she wanted to, but as soon as her feet left the security of solid she was undone.
With a shrug of her shoulders, and a defeated posture which seldom etches her frame, she asked to be unstrapped. When she returned to us she quietly whispered, “I really wanted to, but I just couldn’t trust the ride!”
Fortunately for my little one, this was just a silly ride. Once the mirror maze was in view, her spunk returned. However, as I watched her bounce away I couldn’t help but think how often the same scene has played out in my adult life. I thought of my own scary rides; those situations in life where God has invited me to obediently jump and I’ve told him I don’t quite trust his bungees – the times he’s offered an adventure, and I’ve declined because I didn’t trust His harness. The times where I’ve stayed put, shrugged my shoulders and sadly, or even rebelliously said, “Sorry, but I just don’t trust the ride.” After all, jumping is scary. What if I fail? Even worse, what if I’m embarrassed!
All the while, my God continues to offer the excitement of the jump and boy does he have a resume that screams he can be trusted. He told Moses to jump, and the petrified guy led a people out of bondage. He pushed Joseph into a jump, and the guy ruled over Egypt. A rather young man and his bride-to-be were hurled into a jump, and the Savior of the world came to earth.
Without a doubt, these rides must have been petrifying. However, I’m pretty sure beyond positive that if I could talk to any of these adventurers, they’d tell me to jump. They’d tell me to trust the harness and the bungees. They’d tell me that without any doubt I can definitely trust the ride