January 5, 2009

to slip and fall...

When I was in the fifth grade my family took one of our many trips up to Enchanted Rock (which was about an hour from where I grew up). But this day was different... My cousins (from south Texas) were in town! -insert sarcastic tone here-

 If you have never been there, E-Rock is made of solid granite. The previous three days it had been raining. Granite gets really slick when wet. My clueless cousins wanted to go up to the top, but our parents vehemently warned us not to try.

The brain trust, known as our first cousins, started going up anyways and my bro and I (having climbed E-Rock umpteen times) decided we better stick with them, since the tallest thing to climb in south Texas is a red-ant hill. 

We decided the best way to climb the rock was gradually (to keep from climbing at too steep of an incline). After a while we worked ourselves to the wrong side of the rock. There is one side of E-Rock that is easily climbed by foot, then there is the repelling side. (i.e. very steep rain-slicked slope). I don't even really remember how far up we got or how we even got to the steep side. All I know is that it was very dangerous.

-Insert mother's voice-over "I told you so" here-  
Half way up, my little brother slips. He slides on his belly, what seemed to be like 20 feet. The only thing that stopped his descent was an outcropping of grass that had grown from a big crack in the side of the granite face. 

Immediately my six year old brother burst into tears. There he was trapped on the edge of the slope and it was too slick to climb up. Somehow we figured a way to get him up by making a human chain to reach down to him. It was crazy. My brother cried the whole way back. But the funny thing is that I think something really seemed to change in him that day... 

See, ever since then my brother seemed to never be afraid of anything again. It's like he faced a great fear and made it through to the other side. If you know anything about my brother, you know he lives life at 100 miles an hour and he gives himself into everything 110%. I couldn't help to think, how much that day changed him. Instead of being afraid, he faced his fears and subdued them.

How many times do you run into people that faced a great fall and gave up? Or let me pose another question. What if God actually allows painful (life-threatening, scary, you take your pick at the adjective) things to happen in order to birth within us a resolve to live fiercely for Him? 

I'm not trying to shortchange the legitimacy of some of the painful and difficult things in your life. But what if God meant for the very thing that scared you to death to bring you to life?