A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure to go to the Young Life Camp Malibu in Canada. With 140 men spending a couple days completely cut off from the world, the time was amazing. One of the best times was spent about 50′ up in the air at the exit point from the high ropes course. This exit point was called the “Leap of Faith”. It was so amazing and rewarding to watch men with fear of heights come and face that fear on this course. Then after making it through all the challenges, they had to exit.
This exit was to literally jump for a hanging bar to swing from and then let go. The bar was not that far away but watching people struggle with that jump was a wonderful experience.
No, not because I’m a bit sadistic and enjoy watching grown men come close to tears. But because I was watching them struggle with knowing something with their brain (they are fully protected) and still having to physically make the leap.
One of the best experience while I was up there was by Sebastian Cretu (unfortunately not the one in the picture). He had already watched so many people make the leap and nobody had fallen. He accomplished the rest of the course without too much of a struggle. But then I locked his harness into the belay, guided him to the edge of the platform and sat back and watched (encouraging him all the way).
He mentally knew he was safe but had to convince his muscles to make the jump. For probably 5 minutes, he attempted to make the jump, at times coming really close to doing it. Eventually he trusted the leap and successfully grabbed the bar. Then he hung there afraid to let go. This was another trust exercise if he could trust his equipment and Ken at the bottom to properly belay him down. Slowly his fingers lost their grip on one hand and then the other. He was instantly suspended in the air, horizontal, face down.
It was his reaction at this point that made my day. At this point, he was finally 100% out of the control point. He was 100% relying upon his equipment and Ken down below. For the first time on the entire course, he was trusting ONLY on others and nothing on himself.
His reaction was pure joy. Where he had been gripped with fear up to this point, he was now full of joy. He pulled out his cell phone for a “selfie” to capture this moment. His smile was ear to ear and he was excited.
This moment, and in fact the entire experience on the rope course is such a reflection on our relationship with Christ. Most of our life we go through taking most of the control for ourselves. We know we’re connected to our safety line and that “God has our back” and this gives us a certain level of confidence. However at some point, we will have to FULLY reply upon Him. It can be a scary moment, but once we see that He really does protect us, He really does have our back… there is so much joy.
This kind of joy will never come when you simply know He’s there. But once you feel His impact in your life, the joy can never be matched.