Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Higher, Faster, Higher

Life is like a swing. It carries you high up in the air, then scrapes you close to the ground. Sometimes it makes your stomach drop and your head spin, other times it rocks you slow and gentle. But the key to enjoying it, is to let go, to not hold on so tightly, and release yourself to the force that is already carrying you.

As a young child, I loved the swings at our local park. I used to beg my dad to push me with the chant, "Higher, faster! Higher, faster!"Then, I suddenly went through this phase where I realized, "Oh my goodness, I have been endangering myself! What if I fall off! How in the world could I go up so high without freaking out!" So I stopped swinging. I abandoned it altogether and let my fears keep me from the thing I once enjoyed so much.

One day, I saw a lady with her daughter sitting on the swing. I can't be exactly sure, but I think they were Chinese. At any rate, I don't remember her speaking English. The mother was sitting on the swing with her daughter in her lap. I remember her talking or singing to her child, and for some reason I felt like I could face my fear. I mounted the swing and closed my eyes, wishing I could rid myself of the knots in my stomach, wishing I could enjoy the swing as I used to. I concentrated on the woman's voice, not knowing what she was saying but understanding her meaning, and found myself letting go. I swung. I bit my lip. I swung a little higher. My stomach flopped around, but at least I was doing it. I was swinging! The more I swung, the more I found myself losing my fears. After awhile, I wasn't even thinking about my fears. It was just the swing and me, getting carried higher, faster, higher...

Sometimes, I'm so busy concentrating on my fears, or on overcoming obstacles that I am paralyzed. But it isn't about that. I will always sit there, tightly wound and afraid if I am listening to the voices and fears inside of me. Over-analyzing will only ever slow me down. What I need to do is climb into the swing, close my eyes, listen to the voice of Jesus, without a thought to my safety or security, get lost in the rush of the ride, and let him gently push me higher, faster, higher.

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