Many years ago, my son, DJ, was trying to be like his big brother. They were climbing a tree in the back of my sister's yard and daring each other to go higher and higher and jump off the limb and out into the ever increasing distance to the ground. They started at about three feet and continued to work up the tree. I, of course, was visiting in total unawareness with my sister INSIDE the house.
One of the kids ran screaming into the house to tell me that DJ was stuck in the tree and going to fall. My sister and I ran out the door to find my son way too far up in the air hanging onto a branch for dear life. We could not reach him and were trying to figure out whether or not a ladder would work when my brother-in-law came out the door and stood underneath DJ and told him to let go. The small, terrified boy made the mistake of looking down and promply held on all the tighter.
I was slightly panicked (ok, probably more than slightly) and wanted to know what we should do. This man said simply, "Just wait, he will come down pretty soon now". What!! Wait!! You have so got to be kidding, right?? He was not kidding. A few, short (seemingly eternal) minutes later, DJ let go of the branch and dropped into his Uncle's waiting arms. Safe and finally on firm ground, the boy ran off to continue playing.
I chuckle when I remember this story now. I think that too often I resemble this in my own life. I sometimes want to do things that others are doing. Things that are not necessarily wrong, but are also not things which are "safe". They are not the things that bring me closer to my Heavenly Father. It might be as simple as too much television, or too much computer time. In short, too many selfish pursuits. These pursuits often leave me holding onto a limb and trying not to fall. Sometimes the things we want are not the things that the Lord would want us to have. Often, the things that the world is doing are not the things that we should be doing. We might need to make the decision to do the thing that is right, rather than the thing everyone else is doing.
Luke 12:16-21I found a new favorite quote yesterday that goes so well with this.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying , The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying , What shall I do , because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said , This will I do : I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease , eat , drink , and be merry .
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be , which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln
I hope that each of us remember, during our times of doubt and insecurity, the Lord is standing there ready to catch us, but first we have to be willing to let go of the world and trust Him. I hope that I am always standing firm on the Lord's side of the line and not dangling dangerously just out of reach.