There is a short story in the New York Times Bestseller book, The Circle Maker, where the author Mark Batterson is sharing of a time he took his son paragliding in Machu Picchu. The instructions regarding how to paraglide safely and successfully were given by the Peruvian instructor with nine simple words “Run as fast as you can toward the cliff.”
REALLY? THAT’S IT?
Don’t you think if you were getting ready to jump off a cliff, MORE instructions would be needed?
Mark admits that as he was running toward the cliff, he was yelling, “THIS IS CRAZY! THIS IS CRAZY!” However, it was very quickly followed with, “THIS IS AWESOME! THIS IS AWESOME!” as he was then gliding effortlessly 14,000 miles above the entire Sacred Valley. I can only imagine that was probably some of the most exhilarating, breathtaking, and unforgettable sights he had ever seen.
His lesson learned from paragliding was that if you are not willing to put yourself in a “this is crazy” situation, you will never experience the “this is awesome” moments that come thereafter. Not to mention you cannot help BUT pray when you are taking that uncertain leap of faith.
Have you ever been there?
An Uncertainty?… An unknown?… An unexpected result?… Or thoughts of “How did I get here,”… or maybe even, “ How did I let myself get way over there?”
I know I have.
Our military years were filled with numerous “running off” the cliff moments. My faith and obedience tested with more “this is crazy” moments than I had honestly hoped would ever occur. Let’s just face it. Keeping our feet right where they are, like firmly on the ground, is just more comfortable, safe, and predictable than running as fast as you can off a cliff with a 14,000 foot descent. As these “running off the cliff” moments happened, I definitely experienced moments of fear and doubts. Selfishly, I wanted to be comfortable. I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen next. I wanted to be in control.
Bottom line: I wanted what I wanted.
Yet a defining moment would always come. I had to choose the unseen, the unfamiliar, and unexpected because that is exactly what I was called to do by the One who made me. Ultimately, I chose to take God at His Word because His Word is truth, never failing, and is all the instructions we really need. He also gave us MORE than nine words—so I am grateful for that!
And yes, I couldn’t help BUT pray like I have never prayed before.
The kind of prayers that are so real and so raw that there is no way for them to sound poetic or pretty because they are being spoken from the deepest, most vulnerable part of our searching and fragile hearts. It was pure intimacy at its finest with total dependency on not only the One who keeps our hearts beating, but the One who is THE creator of our hearts.
There is power in prayer.
How AWESOME is our God that He continuously reveals himself through His Word and Holy Spirit to those who draw near and trust in Him.
How AWESOME is our God that He not only shows up every time we cry out, but also that He is with us every step of the way.
How AWESOME is our God that we never leave His hands.
Isn’t it crazy to think that fear can be a faith builder? Isn’t it odd to think that there will be times in our lives that we will need to be blinded or put in a place of uncertainty to be able to see God’s glory and have His all-sufficiency revealed?
Sometimes we need a little crazy, a little unfamiliar, a little unknown in our lives so we can personally experience the awesomeness of God’s love, His plans, and His purposes for our lives. Very humbly stated, we need a lot less of ourselves and a lot more of Him.
My hope for each of us is that we will start running toward the cliffs in our lives with boldness and assurance just as experienced paragliders, who are filled with ease because of the confidence they have gained from past experiences that are continuously fueling them forward to crave more jumps with bigger take-your-breath away views. After all, practice makes perfect, and yet we are already perfect in His sight.
Actually, it’s pretty awesome.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14
From my nest to yours,