Posted by Sheila Thomasson

“Do You Have A Harness?”

Our youth group met this past week and went to the high ropes course located off of Folly Road.  Once we had all arrived, we checked in and were handed a harness and a helmet, and we went outside to meet our instructor for the afternoon. The first thing he had us do was step into our safety harness, tighten all the straps, double check it for proper fit, and then put on a safety helmet. Several of our youth had been on a high ropes course before, so this part of the instruction went smoothly for all of us. He then showed us how to connect the clips to the safety lines and move from one high rope obstacle to the next. This was a most important lesson, as we quickly realized that once clipped into the course, we were safely connected until the moment we came down off the towers, touched the ground, and were disconnected from the course and its cables.

The high ropes course was great fun, but it was even more fun to see our youth overcoming the course obstacles. For some it seemed as if this was as easy as walking across the street. For others it was a learning process as they did something entirely new and overcame their worries.  As I watched them navigating around the obstacles, connected to the safety line, I couldn’t help but think about what lessons of life and faith they might be learning. After a little more than an hour and a half of moving around the course, they were all down on the ground and we were preparing to leave. Gathered together, I proposed a question for them to consider: “Did you learn anything about your faith and God today?” Difficult question, right? I suppose it was, but it seemed obvious to me as I had watched our young people safely hooked up to the ropes as they criss-crossed the course. No immediate answer was offered, so I offered one. While on the course, safely hooked to the safety lines, even if they stumbled or slipped or fell, that harness was their life-line and it kept them safe. In the same way, we who believe in a good and gracious God who created, redeemed and sustains us, are connected to him through the gift he has given us of his son and our faith.  We go through all the obstacles of life knowing that we are ultimately safely harnessed to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we stumble, slip, or even fall, it is because of and through our faith that we can be confident we are safely connected to the life-line that God provides.

You and I are connected with God, not by a harness but by our faith. And it is that faith that helps us survive and overcome all the obstacles we encounter in this life. When we find ourselves facing those aspects of life that we find difficult, remember we are ‘harnessed’ so that we can overcome them and move on to the next moment, the next hour, the next day, and the next adventure and phase of life without fear. Perhaps our youth’s adventure on the high ropes course can remind us of the importance to remain connected to God as we go through life. So make certain you’re strapped in with God as you go out into the world today.

Yours In Christ,
Pastor Butler +