Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Tethered

The muscular 20-something man grabbed the hook attached to my waist and snapped it to a metal bar on the rail leading up the side of a tall tree.
“Go on up,” he said. I hesitated on the stairs.
“No worries!” he said, smiling. “You'll be tethered the whole way.”
I climbed cautiously to the top of the stairs and firmly set my feet on a small wooden box. Another young man unhooked me from the bar and onto a thin metal line stretched between our tree and one that looked about a million miles away.
He grinned. “Ready for the birthday jump?” he asked.
That’s a really thin wire. Is there a weight limit? The hook looks a little rusty. What if I get stuck in the middle? Are there snakes in these trees? What made me think that riding a zip line in Mexico was a good idea?
There will be more risks.
After the devastating May tornados in our state, I researched dozens of companies that claimed their safe rooms could withstand any storm.
Would I feel safer buried under my garage or packed into a small building in the backyard? Concrete? Steel-enforced? Fiberglass? Accredited or certified? I don’t even like being in an elevator with more than one other person!
There will be more uncertainty.
After recovering from the zip line adventure via a beach chair in Cancun, I left Dallas headed for home in the back of a small, crowded plane. We spent most of the flight in the throes of a thunderstorm. The engines revved as the plane bounded, up and down. In the darkness, lightning burst against the windows. A flight attendant, sitting across the aisle from me, closed her window shade and then her eyes. The only other sound was that of the few people who chose to pray out loud.
My stomach churning, I tightly squeezed my eyes and reached for my friend's hand. “Just breathe,” she said quietly. Clinging to her hand, I focused on letting air in and out of my lungs – and prayed.
There will be more fear.
The truth is – the only security in life is in being tethered to God – the One made this world and controls everything in it.
Through the darkness, the lies, the anger, the sadness, the fear. Into the light, the truth, the freedom, the joy, the strength.
As the plane bounced onto the wet runway, we sank into our seats and reveled in the sound of the roaring brakes. I glanced over at the flight attendant, who slowly stood up, smoothed her skirt and made the announcement: “Be careful while gathering your bags from the overhead bins,” she said. “Some contents may have shifted during the flight.”
You're telling me.

Psalm 139:10 (NIV)
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Psalm 18:28 (NIV)
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.