I spent this past weekend in the mountains of North Carolina with our daughter and approximately 120 other women, sisters in faith. We studied God's word together, prayed together, ate together, played games and explored nature together and, above all, learned to trust in God's promise together, as women have done since Old Testamant times. The recurring theme of the weekend was trust; how we can apply that trust to our decision making processes, to the risks we face and to the challenges we rise up to meet... our own, personal, leaps of faith! The building where we met is equipped with a climbing wall. We were offered the opportunity on Saturday afternoon to sign up for a climbing session, to challenge ourselves and trust in what was being provided for us. I like a challenge. And yet... I wasn't entirely sure if this was something I could do. I weighed my options, all the while reflecting on what we were learning through the decision making process based on the teaching of St. Ignatius. I identified my fears and opened myself up to what was new, what challenged me as a child of God to look beyond my own personal agenda and desires. I decided to leap... to reach beyond self-imposed limits and open myself up to trust. I said a prayer and donned a climbing helmet.
The climb was hard work, strenuous (for me); it's difficult to know where to step and where to grab for pulling up. I was totally reliant on my belayer below to give me cues: "reach up with your right hand for the yellow", even though I was right there on the wall my focus was fully about holding on! Isn't this how our God operates when we place our trust in Him? He will guide our steps, our every hand-hold, if only we will open our ears to listen for, and have faith in, His word.
Even though I broke loose from the hand holds and swung free numerous times, I didn't give up; I did come close though. The good news is that I was continually encouraged to keep on... to grab again, to pull up, to "frog up" with my legs, to keep going. Here I am reaching out for the topmost grab on the wall. This was an exhilerating experience! I will think about this challenge for a long time to come. How much easier it would have been to give up and how happy I am that I didn't. God continues to place challenges before me... how much easier is it to stay within my own comfort zone? What do I risk, how much do I miss, by setting limitations? A lot! This climbing wall showed me the way to rethink the choices before me. "Every choice we make, no matter how small, is an opportunity to align ourselves with God's will." What new heights are awaiting you?
Life is Good!