A few weeks ago, I tried a ropes course in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was a cool experience but I didn't know what I was getting myself into before I got there. The idea is to challenge yourself by walking across various thin wooden boards and tightropes, some at twelve feet high and some at twenty-four feet high. You can see the ground below you the whole time so there is no forgetting that you are up that high. Also, you are in a harness and connected by a cable to the pulley system above you at all times. I learned some important lessons about life during the course.
The first area that gave me trouble was a thin balance beam. There was no railing to hold onto like the previous area so I was nervous. Two people that worked on the course came over to help me through. One walked in front of me and the other walked behind me. This gave me enough confidence to get through it. Lesson learned: When I need help there is usually someone there to encourage me to keep going. Just ask for help.
During most of the course, there were two options for each section - one being a balance beam option and another being a tightrope option. I usually chose the balance beam option. It seemed sturdier. But on one of the sections, the balance beam option was swinging boards to cross so I chose the tightrope option for the first time. It took quite awhile to get started. Lesson learned: The first step is usually the scariest and therefore the most important to break through.
Once I started to cross the tightrope though it got easier as I just took one step at a time. Lesson learned: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Toward the end of the course, there was a section where you had to cross stepping on swinging ropes. But there were other ropes hanging down for you to hold onto if you wanted. When I started that section I was taking my time but slowly getting there. Then I realized that my cable was getting tangled in the swinging ropes that I was stepping on. I was stuck. Another worker came over to tell me how to free myself. I had to step backwards a few times in order to untangle my ropes. Going forward is fearful enough without having to step backward. But I followed the instructions and then was able to walk through that section without tangling myself again. Lesson learned: Taking a few steps backward is okay as long it clears you to go forward again.
The biggest obstacle to break through was in my own mind. I couldn't have fallen because of the cable/pulley system I was harnessed to but my mind didn't quite understand that until I actually walked across each section. Lesson learned: In life, God is that cable/pulley system. He's got a hold of me so even if I do fall, He catches me quickly. So, I just need to keep stepping as best I can.
Also, my first thought on a lot of the sections was, "I can't do this one." But in the end, I did force myself to do them. Lesson learned: I can do more than I think I can.