I recently went rock climbing for the first time since fifth grade. I’m sure I stuck out like a sore thumb in that fitness-freak, edgy-hipster gym, but I came confident and eager for the adventure. After all, I had great memories from the rock climbing birthday party I attended in 2007. Little did I know, the pain and torture that would soon ensue.
First of all, I was attached to a cord that might as well have been a spaghetti noodle. My friend, Mary, who literally works at a rock climbing gym, ensured me that it was safe, but I didn’t believe her.
I covered my hands in chalk and for a second, I felt like an Olympic athlete. That olympian feeling QUICKLY went away as soon as I actually started climbing that wall. I was absolutely petrified. I suddenly remembered that I am afraid of heights and have a strong disdain for excruciating fitness activities, which is, essentially, all that rock climbing is. So, that was great thinking on my part.
Halfway up the wall, I looked down at Mary, who was coaching me through the fiasco. She encouraged me to keep climbing, but I said something along the lines of, “Okay honey, I gotta get off this thing,” and she proceeded to say the words, “Just let go.”
“Do what now?" I nervously murmured from 30 something feet in the air.
“Let go. Just kick off the wall and the cord will catch you.”
I thought she had lost. her. mind.
My hands had the little rock in a death grip as my legs quivered in place. I attempted to let go multiple times before I chickened out and shrieked like a dying animal. Clinging to the wall, I was paralyzed by fear. The expert was telling me it was safe, but my distrust in her was the loudest voice in my head.
Eventually, and against my will, I obtained the confidence to jump. Low and behold, the cord did exactly what the expert said it would do. I didn’t fall to my death. I didn’t break both my legs and get shuffled away on a stretcher. In childlike faith (and a lot of adult fear), I took the jump.
I can’t help but remember how much differently my rock climbing experience went when I was 10. I zoomed up the wall without fear and jumped without hesitation. I had full confidence in the experts who told me it was safe to take the leap. Isn’t that what childlike faith is about?
Oftentimes, we tend to equate maturity with independence. When a person is no longer dependent on their parents, they have reached full maturity. In our faith, we become mature when we become fully dependent on our father. It almost feels backward, but it’s the way Christ intends it. He wants us to be childlike in our faith: fully trusting and fully confident in Him. He wants us to jump knowing that we will be caught by our father.
So, jump! In what areas of your life are you clinging to the wall, afraid to let go? We can have peace knowing that He will catch us every single time. After all, His strength is entirely stronger than a spaghetti noodle rock climbing cord. He is who He says He is and He'll do what He says He'll do. It isn't an easy process, but through faith in Him, we can trust our father with the scary jumps, even ones that involve a rock wall.
McKenna Best is a Carolina girl currently residing in the bachelorette and hipster capital of the world. She believes in Jesus, dancing in the kitchen, and slow mornings. McKenna is an assistant youth director and spends her afternoons working with middle schoolers in West Nashville. In her free time, you can find her eating Chipotle, making an excessive amount of Spotify playlists, writing in a coffee shop, watching The Office, or spontaneously buying a plane ticket somewhere. She is passionate about equipping youth to unlock their potential and be all that God has called them to be, whether that be through teaching Bible lessons, or writing articles for a variety of online platforms