High Ropes

We spent Sunday afternoon on the high ropes course. How do I describe the high ropes course? Terrifying. Exhilarating. Incredible. Most people went in pairs, but since there was an odd number of us, Natalie and Josh and I all went together, with me in the middle. The first two stretches weren’t too bad, but I was pretty sure I was going to die when we got to the third one.

We were walking a rope 40 feet above the ground with “swinging vines” to hold onto. Usually with a pair of people, the first person will pass the rope to the second person and they will slowly make their way from there. With a trio, it was slightly more complicated, but was also an important lesson to learn.

Because I was in the middle, I had pretty much no control. I had my fingers laced through Natalie’s and Josh’s so our sweaty hands wouldn’t slip, and they had to pass the rope over me. All I could do was hold on and keep moving, which is sometimes true of life as well. I edged along, leaning so far forward in my harness that I was terrified, and my safety cables were cutting into my chest (I have an epic bruise coming). At one point Natalie lost her balance and started to fall backwards, which started to pull me backwards, and I screamed and held tightly to Josh. Definitely the scariest moment I’ve experienced in a while.

Once we got past the third stretch, we had to separate to get to the top of the tree. Josh took the swinging ladder and I climbed the rock post, and we each took the zip line down. The zip line was pretty difficult for me, too. Once Jake had secured me, he looked at me and said, “Okay, it’s all you now.” I was like, “Huh, what? Me what?” He clarified, “You can go whenever you’re ready.” My first thought was, “That would be, like, never.” For about three seconds I actually thought I was going to chicken out. But then I took a deep breath and scooted off the edge.

It wasn’t until we were all debriefing after worship that night that Josh confessed he was terrified of heights. Natalie and I would never have guessed — he was so calm and encouraging.

Andrea was sharing the notes that she’d taken. “Lauren was kinda freaking out up there, but she was still watching out for Josh and every few seconds I would hear her say, ‘You okay, babe? You okay, babe?'” I flushed bright red as everyone in the room burst out laughing. Hence my camp name was born: I am now Babe.

The next morning I was reading in Ephesians and came across 4:29 — “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” It really hit home after my experience with the high ropes course the day before. I think this verse means so much more than the “don’t swear” value we assign it. Josh was a perfect example of this — he was terrified, but he never let us know it, and was constantly encouraging us from behind. He could have complained, but instead the only words that came out of his mouth were helpful comments to calm us and encourage us “according to our needs.”

Published in: on June 2, 2012 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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