Have you ever tried to trapeze? To fly high in the air with the greatest of ease?
I had the opportunity back in 1991 to do some trapeze in Port St. Lucy, FL. It requires climbing up a small ladder, being harnessed up, climbing up an even tinier ladder, and standing on a 2×2 platform with a release person. With a hook, the release person draws back the trapeze bar and tells you to grab hold with both hands; meanwhile, they have a hold of your harness from the back (or in some cases by the waist) – the only thing stopping you from dropping off the platform.
There’s this moment before you let go for the first time. This moment when these thoughts run through your mind, like “AM I OUT OF MY MIND??” or “Why am I doing this again?” or “If it doesn’t work out, there’s always the harness or the net to catch me.” or “What if there’s no connection when I let go?” (Apparently these thoughts are absolutely normal – normal feelings about an “abnormal” choice to fling all that you are into the wide open air, with little less than rope, a bar, and two hands on the other side waiting to catch you.)
Once you decide to go, you have to tell the release person “Go!” and they release their hold on you as you take your first big swing on the trapeze and then flip yourself up to sit on the bar. I remember my first time on that platform – I was not afraid of the climb, I was not afraid of the size or the height of the platform, and I was not even afraid of the upcoming catch…but the word “Go!” took its sweet time coming out of my mouth. I felt I was waiting for a moment to feel secure enough to be all in and release. I knew it would come.
I finally did say “Go!”, taking a big swing down, hanging from the bar, flipping myself to sitting position and then holding the swing with a kung fu grip. I DID IT!! I DID IT!! I’m swinging!! The feel of the breeze on my body, the pure smell of the air at that height, the Atlantic ocean vistas laid out before me, the joy of having let go and trusted.
Then there was connecting to the other person on the opposite swing, another step of faith – I mean, what if our hands didn’t connect? what if our hands got sweaty and I fell? what if I couldn’t find the my swing in the return? As I turned to position myself to connect, I succeeded in reaching out my hands and locking grips with my trapeze partner, letting go of my swing, relying on the strength of another.
Deciding to become a missionary is like trapezing with the Lord. There was quite a climb (wrestling with the idea and submitting) …there was a moment of securing myself to a harness (ADRN)…there was a moment of doubt (Am I sure this is the way?)…there is the moment of release (sending out the donation requests)…there is the joy mixed with the kung fu grip of the first full swing (giving in to the thrill of following Christ but clinging to His hand)…there is the fear of not connecting (will others partner with me?)…there is the list of questions (what about bills? insurance? retirement?)…there is the thrill of realizing you are actually doing it (receiving the first payments, working for the Lord)…and then there is the realization of the absolute freedom of a life in Christ, a life with a singular focus of gazing upon His beauty and inquiring in His temple.
Ah the sweetness of trapezing with the Lord! Flying high on eagle’s wings! Release!