I have acrophobia. But I am going to trust you anyways!” shouted Ju-hee, one of this semester’s ELC students. She was standing at the base of the “Pamper Pole”, one of the two high elements she would be facing that day. Her harness has been checked and double checked, and her helmet tightened. All that remained was for her to face her fear and climb the pole. With the cheers and shouts of encouragement of her teammates as her soundtrack, Ju-hee climbed to the top of the telephone pole and slowly turned around. Poised atop the element she counted to three out loud, allowing a scream to emit between each number. Upon reaching three she let out one final scream and jumped, hitting the ball hanging in front of her and successfully completing the element.
Richmond Ropes is composed of six high elements and eleven low elements. Each one is designed to challenge individuals and teams to face their fears, learn how to work together, and form leadership. The elements often require participants to face their fears and push past limits both physically and mentally.
The lessons learned on the elements extend far beyond the ropes course. We ask participants to face and overcome their fears because that is what God asks of us. Ju-hee said is so perfectly: I’m afraid, but I will trust you anyways. That is God’s desire for us. That our trust in Him would be greater than our fears. While most of us will not jump off high elements every day of our lives, God will continually ask us to do things that scare us. When we go beyond what we thought we could, we learn how safe we are in His hands. So no matter what God asks you to do today, be it giving up a job, evangelizing to a stranger, or jumping off of a telephone pole, remember that there is no safer place to be than in His will.