I nearly died. At 49 stories above Cincinnati, the floor nearly gave way and I nearly tumbled over the ledge and nearly died. Lots of nearly, because that’s what it feels like when I stand 49 stories above Cincinnati.
It never fails. Teams come down to the basin (downtown is in a basin off the hills) and want to get above it all. So up we all go to the observation deck of Carew Tower, looking out over the city from the highest accessible point. It’s my least favorite place to stand.
“You’re that terrified of heights??” No, I’m that uncomfortable with heights. That was my reply, because I was actually quite content with how much better I did this time around. I actually touched the outer wall and walked around to the south side of the building. Laugh, because I laugh. It’s a challenge, but it’s humorous.
I’m going to shoot a video up there one day. Doing so will be especially challenging, but that will be the point. Each day we face challenges and choose if/how we will overcome. I’m guessing that most of the time, we fail. Hence the video. We see success in overcoming obstacles, but the greatest challenge we face is dropping our own self-reliance and trusting God to lead us on His path.
Sure, we do trust Him at times when He calls us to do reasonable things. Some even further with unreasonable career changes or outrageous decisions. Yet there are rare examples of people who followed in faith to do the unthinkable or survive the unlivable. Ancients such as Noah with an ark, Moses against Pharaoh, and Jeremiah with zero followers. Moderns such as George Müller and Lottie Moon. And the unsung who are unknown because we didn’t see the way God used them so they aren’t celebrated success stories.
I once looked over the edge of Mount Tam above San Francisco bay. My former intern, ready to free-climb off the edge, laughed at me because I held an insignificant branch to “save me.” Rather than holding the branch as a safety line, I held it to remain oriented. That’s all I needed: a sense of stability.
We can face down anything with that sense of stability, or perhaps safety or even purpose. Yet we are weak in responding to God’s call because our faith isn’t really in Him over our own wisdom or ability. As I face my own struggles with faith, I see my weakness regarding dependency. So I go to God about my unbelief (Mark 9:22-24).
Faith isn’t about hoping in a dream; faith involves a reorientation to a new reality of stability. Follow Jesus, wherever He leads. Stumble along, but don’t turn away in fear.