One week left in South Africa. 7 days left to breath the crisp air of the South African Eastern Cape. Just enough time to learn a few more life lessons and have a few more adventures!
A few months ago I took the BIG leap of faith (literally and spiritually). I left the comfort of my home, school, family, and country to come 3,000+ miles to a foreign land all by myself. I put aside my fears and reservations and decided to seize the moment that God had offered me to change, grow, and have the adventure of a lifetime. Since taking that first big step I have not looked back on my footprints with regrets or disappointments. I know God has placed me in this place in this particular season in my life to bring me to the next level of teaching, learning, and living. But He wasn’t through with me yet.
Two months ago I took an even bigger leap of faith…more like jump off of a 216 meters or 708 feet high bridge. Crazy? No, just unwilling to come all of this way and still live in a bubble. So I did it. I bungee jumped from the world’s highest commercial bungee jump. I took that jump of faith to symbolize the jump of faith I took to get to South Africa and the other faith jumps I plan to take the rest of my life. No longer will fear prevent me from living my dreams, living in my purpose, or doing the impossible. God has shown me what I can do with Faith the size of a mustard seed, so just imagine what you can do with Bungee Jump Faith!
But He still wasn’t through with me yet. Yesterday I visited Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours which is a zip line tour situated in the canopy of the indigenous rainforest filled with Yellow wood Trees which are South Africa’s oldest and tallest trees. You glide on 10 slides to 10 platforms as you explore the animals and beautiful yellow wood trees of the forest. This tour for me was not just about exploring the rain forest 30 meters in the air suspended on a wire, it was about trust. A trust tour to be exact. After taking the initial jump of faith and making the decision to live in my purpose instead of being afraid of it, I had to practice a lot of trust while God moved me from place to place in life. My guide for the canopy tour explained how harness works to keep you attached to the line as you slide from one platform to the other. There is the main attachment that is connected to your chest and to the line. This is strong enough to carry you from platform to platform without letting you go. But that is not the only place you are securely attached. There is a backup harness attached to the main attachment just in case the weight you need a little more to support your weight. But there is still another harness that is attached to a backup line above you in case the other two are not enough. My guide told me that in the 8 years they have been open and operating, there has never been a time when they had to need or use that third harness. The main has never let them down.
I began to think about this system as the zip lines kept getting higher off the ground and faster, and I realized that if I didn’t trust that these harnesses would hold my weight as I glided across the line then I would have never experienced the incredible feeling of flying through the trees of South Africa. Trust. I needed to have an enormous amount of this stuff. I know that sometimes (ok lets be honest…) MANY times in my life I have had faith in God but I forgot to trust that He would keep me and do what He said He would do. After facing my fears and taking the first step I forgot to trust in Him that He would guide every other step after that one.
I must admit when the guide told me that the zip lines would get higher and faster as we went through the forest, I can’t say that a few little nervous butterflies entered my stomach. But I put my trust in these three metal attachments to hold my weight and keep me from falling. So if I can put my trust in a piece of metal, then why is it so hard to trust God?
Hasn’t He proven many many times that He is trustworthy? Yes. Has He ever let me down before? No. So why when God says that He will do something, I begin to doubt and worry that He won’t come through for me???
God showed me through this amazing experience of zip lining that if I just trust Him with everything He will guide me and help me arrive safely on the other side. If I start getting a little nervous I don’t have to worry because He has some backups ready to step in and give me a little extra support. If you are not familiar with His ‘backups’ their names are Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are all working together to ensure that you and me arrive safely on the other side of the storm, hard situation, or zip line of life. If we just put our trust in Him we will fly!
At a point in our journey through the forest, our guide let us know which lines are a little slower so we can take our time and enjoy the scenery. We could look down and around at the beauty of the forest around us. At first, I was a little nervous (again) but I didn’t want to miss the wonderful beauty of God’s creation. So on the slower lines, I opened my eyes wide. Looked down at the forest floor; looked up at the blue sky and sun peeking through the trees at me. Smiled and realized that I was flying high with the birds surrounded by the magnificent forest. I could hear God whispering to me through the rustle of the leaves, “If only you trusted me like this with your whole life…”
“My whole life, Lord…” that is certainly easier said than done. But just think if you and me trusted God with our careers, school, finances, families, relationships, and anything else that we hold on to so tightly in order to have complete control. If we trusted God with all of those things, we could actually begin to really enjoy life! We could live life from a completely different perspective than ever before. Soaring through the trees with the birds. Flying. Enjoying living and the people in our lives instead of always stressing and worrying. Yes easier said than done, but don’t worry. He hasn’t failed me (you) in the 21 years of operation!