My friend, Stone, and I ventured out on another excursion. I’ve been wanting to zipline for a year or two, but had nobody to join me. Stone was up for the adventure so we met in Lula, Georgia at North Georgia Canopy Tours where Brett and Steven were our tour guides.
These guys were rockin’ awesome. The trip was a comedy act, an adventure escapade and a teaching session rolled into one three-hour, steaming hot & humid event.But, the great thing:
amongst the silliness and bad jokes (they were actually incredibly amusing)
I felt safe. I knew the jokes would stop in a heartbeat if a problem arose.
And they paid close attention as we traveled, obviously well-trained at their jobs.
We zigzagged through the canopy of the north Georgia woods, suspended high above the ground (as high as 70′ for one of the landings). We crossed two sky bridges and a total of about ten zip lines (one as long as 750′!).
The first zip lines were short, straight and simple ….
in comparison to the lengthy zips at the end
like this one
whose finish landing you couldn’t even see
when you were standing on the start landing.
We just had to trust that
our guides knew the way …
they had covered the course …
they had gone before
and knew we’d be fine.
My tummy rumbled and nerves were exposed as we began. I knew I would be able to complete the course, but I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be. In fact, I knew that looking down would be a bad idea …. so, I just held my camera over the edge of the crow’s nest
As I rode the line from tree to tree …
landing to landing ….
screaming wild above my head
from the friction of spinning wheels encased inside a trolley mechanism,
I thought about how this experience represents where I am in life.
I was drawn to the parallel between
the spiritual world and the physical.
I’ve been given the necessary instruction to do the job
though the final vision of what that job may look like hasn’t yet been revealed …
ahh…. and my Guide? He’s gone before me. He knows the way. He has covered the course and knows I’ll be fine.
None-the-less, it’s time to step into the harness ….
time to figure this out.
The harnessing system on the tour was so reassuring. We were strapped at the waist, through the legs and around the chest. We also had backup straps that held us to a cable at all times. Our guides moved one strap at a time so that one of the two straps was attached to a cable from start to finish. They were in constant movement, clasping and unclasping our tethers. The more I watched, the more impressed and comfortable I became.
The more I watched, the more I thought about how many times they had done this,
but through all the chatter and conversation,
all the jokes and puns,
I still got the strong impression that they took this adrenalin rushed outing
Our guides paid close attention and took their responsibility earnestly.
And my God? Amongst all the fun and activity in life, He watches me closely, cares for me and takes my care seriously. He has a harness system that I can’t see, but keeps me safe all the same. He saves me from foolishly stepping in the wrong directions. He tethers me to Him and keeps me securely anchored in safety.
The hardest part of the zip line?
Taking that first step …
stepping off that ledge.
Trust was the issue. Would the harness fail?
Would it hold all my weight? …. all the way …. from start to end?
That first step off each landing was really hard.
Somehow, I ended up being the very last on the platform
time and time again ….
standing …. chatting … enjoying our guides.
it was my turn.
I had to go.
“Okay. You’re set.”
Each time, it took me a deep breath
and a prayer before I could take that step.
And, me oh my, the repel to the ground was SO.HARD.
After learning the pulley system,
you s.w.i.n.g your body around backward
with your feet on the lip of the platform
and your fanny hovering above the ground
in a completely unnatural position
– repelling position –
holding your own weight by a single rope wrapped round and around a pulley.
It was VERY hard.
I was on
of that platform ….
lowering myself to Steven below.
It was a bit much.
But, I did it. I did it!!
I stepped into the harness,
listened to instruction,
and trusted others to care for my safety.
I stepped off the ledge
to zip through the air or
swung my fanny around
in a totally unnatural position
so I could make it to the next destination.
And, oh the fun …. of that wild ride
flying above ground
across the pond
and through the canopy
of beautiful, stately, lush green trees.
I don’t know what the future holds. With graduation behind me and summer half way over, it’s time to start pursuing “what’s next.” And no matter how unnatural it may feel to swing my fanny into a totally unnatural position, I know my Guide has gone before me and will keep me safe on the wild ride ahead.