This past weekend the family went to the Braselton Beach Bash. The BBB is an annual 1-day festival filled with live music, bouncy houses, rock climb wall, face painting, a magician, balloon animals, an assortment of festival foods, and several dozen booths where most are selling homemade goods. Oh and I neglected to mention SAND and lots of it. Yep, that’s right, the city of Braselton trucks in a ton of sand. After all, what’s a beach bash without a beach? The best part is, with exception to the food and merchandise, everything is free. Want your face painted like a lemur? Free! Want a balloon monkey riding a unicycle? Free! Got the urge to show kids you can launch them to the moon from a bouncy house? Free! Your daughter screaming because she spotted a hand-made Elsa dress? $25… cash… no big bills… no checks… what’s a credit card? All in all, the event was a blast and we had a ton of fun.
One of the beforementioned exhibits of the event is the rock wall. It is a pretty standard rock wall. Plenty of places to grab and step as you traverse around 30 feet up. There are four different routes to climb. The difficulty of each route really depends on who was climbing. I watched a kid who was maybe five (tops) scale the wall like Spiderman on one route, yet fail to make it halfway on the other three. I watched another kid try three times on the Spiderman route, only to suffer the agony of defeat. Ultimately, it depended upon the build of the person climbing, the confidence of the climber, their strength, and honestly whether or not they had successfully climbed that route before.
As we waited anxiously in line for our turn, Ariyana and I watched 10 kids fail to reach the top for one reason or another. Then it was her turn…
Climbing. Climb On!
The staff girl handed us the harness and we followed her instructions on how to put it on. After the straps were snugged down, the staff girl hooked Ariyana to the wire “if you fall you won’t actually fall” cable and told her to climb when she was ready. Ariyana lept forward and was 4-feet off the ground before you could blink. She was climbing rather quickly until she made a crippling mistake. She looked down.
By this point, she was about 8-feet off the ground. Not all that high, really. I could touch her shoes if I stood under her. To her, though, you would’ve thought she was on the edge of the Empire State Building. She didn’t scream or jump off, but she did get noticeably nervous and a slight panic set in. The climb was now much harder than she originally thought it was going to be. Naturally, I started yelling to her to look up and grab the next rock. I started calmly, loudly pointing out places to put her feet and hands so she could continue going up. However, this did not soothe the butterflies in her stomach, but she did keep going up and looking down at the same time.
Eventually, she made it about 15 to 16-feet up, well beyond my reach. The whole time she was creeping up, she would make half-attempts at coming down. As I was telling her where to step and grab, I was also telling her to look up not down. “Look at how close you are to the top,” I would tell her. Soon she quit looking down and only looked up, and BOOM she was at the top at warp speed. She had a smile from ear to ear and beyond proud of her accomplishment. She had done it!
Observation #1 : 4-feet up
Just as Ariyana climbed fast from the word “go”, so do we, as new believers, start out fast and strong. We consume Bible verses like their candy and soak up every bit we can get our hands-on. We ask questions about this newfound relationship. We are so excited to grow and thrive in God’s grace. We’re 5-feet up to Christ before we can bat an eye. I have yet to meet a new believer that is not head-over-heels in love with their Heavenly Father.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:14-17
Observation #2 : 8-feet up
Ariyana struggled with tossing in the towel as the climb got harder. She questioned why she should keep going. This is true for our spiritual climb as well. We also become all too aware of what is at stake in our lives. We begin to wander and drift, losing focus on Jesus and his gift to us. We ask questions still, but they are sometimes more about is it all real. We begin to look down instead of up. We forget where to put our faith and trust in God and how to climb towards Him.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
Observation #3 : 16-feet up
Jesus didn’t come down just to bridge the chasm between us and God. He came to show us where to put our feet and hands-on our climb to our Father. Jesus is our lead climber! When he ascended into Heaven, he showed us where to go as we ascend our climb. For those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior and have traversed through this life and into the next, they undoubtedly are smiling from ear-to-ear, for they made it to the top.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6
Nowhere in the Bible does God promise the journey will be easy. But He does promise an eternity where there is no pain, suffering, sorrow, gloom, depression, anger, or jealously to name a few.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.Revelation 21:4
If you consider yourself a believer but have drifted, it is not too late to correct your course and regain your foothold. Repent, and you will be forgiven then turn from your sinful ways and focus on Christ. If you do not yet know the power and love that God has to offer, seek guidance from a family member, friend, local church, or feel free to contact me. The offer is free with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. All you have to do is accept it.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
If you made it this far, here is your reward. Just a little snippet of when Ariyana started climbing and when it started to get tough.