I am humbled and honored that Tope asked me to be a guest writer. In this story I share, I hope to put a smile on your face and encourage you.
So about a million years ago, when I was in college, I worked summers at a Bible camp in northern Minnesota. As part of the camp experience, we would take our small groups of kids through a low ropes course. There were about a dozen obstacles that were designed to help the group bond and build self-esteem.
One was simply a wall. As a group, they had to figure out how to get every individual over it. In another obstacle, campers found themselves having to get the group to the other side of a “sea of hot peanut butter” with only a few stumps as stepping stones and a rope hanging in the middle. Very exciting!
My favorite obstacle was the “Giggly Wiggly.” It consisted of two thick wires about a foot off the ground, creating a “V.” This obstacle was 20 feet long.
At its widest point, the wires were 12 feet apart, each anchored to a different tree. Campers would start at the point of the V, each on their own wire, facing each other. The goal was to get to the trees without falling off, and no one else could physically help the pair of campers on the wires.This was by far the hardest obstacle to figure out.
The further you got from the starting anchor point, the wires grew farther apart and became increasingly bouncy and unstable. The first attempts were always by the highly confident kids who tried running down the wire solo, turning it into a competition with the other person.
It never worked. They quickly figured out they needed each other. The next attempt would be a simultaneous sideways shimmy, only reaching out for support when they really needed it. Campers would reach out to grab the other’s hand, but usually miss and fall off.
If they actually managed to grab hands they would get a little farther, but as soon as they were unsure of themselves, they would pull back and wind up yanking the other person off their wire. Every pair also predictably had a, “stick your butt out for more balance” phase. Always comical, but never useful.
The real success happened when a pair figured out that the only way to get to the trees was to lean into the other person for support. This created a bridge across the divide. The farther they got, the scarier it was. The more the wires widened, the more they had to commit to leaning in and trusting. But it was the only way.
A Giggly Wiggly Low Ropes Course, Love, and Relationships
This, of course, is a great metaphor for relationships, including our relationship with God. Unlike leaning into human hands, God’s hands are never failing. God’s love for us is steadfast, ever-present, and always strong enough for anything we are going through.
Times are strange, heavy with uncertainties and worries. What I wouldn’t give for a simple sea of hot peanut butter to cross instead! There are so many instances I find myself questioning what I think I know to be true about the world around me.
It’s then I remember Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (NIV). I know I have a choice: Lean into God’s presence and peace, or give energy and attention to the chaos. It is not always easy in the heat of the moment, but the choice gets easier every time I make it.
If I feel chaos creeping in I know I need to head to scripture to get grounded in the truth. If I feel uncertainty shaking my foundations, I need to go to God in prayer. I need to keep my ego – which is full of my own understanding- in check. It’s tempting to pull back when things are uncertain. But we need to lean into God’s word and his promises of steadfast love. It’s the only way.
Scary world? Lean in.
Faltering faith? Lean in.
Relationship woes? Lean in.
Need hope? Lean in.
When we turn to God and put the full weight of our life in his hands, we will find his unfailing grace.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Bio: Tina Langhough lives in Edgerton, WI with her beloved husband Karl and dog Lulu. By trade, she is a massage therapist and personal trainer specializing in pain reduction and optimal personal performance. She writes and speaks on a broad range of topics, but top of the list has to include encouragement to live out the gospel message, God’s optimal design for your life, and that you (and I) are loved beyond measure by the God who created the entire universe! Grace and Peace to you! You can find Tina at www.livingwellstudiollc.com Or on Facebook THELIVINGWELLSTUDIOLLC