When our youngest son said he wanted to go ziplining for his birthday, I figured, why not? After months of being stuck in the house and socially distanced due to COVID-19, it would be good to get out into the fresh air, physically active and away from all the Zoom meetings. We arrive at the site, get geared up, and go through a training session. The instructor went over the safety rules and showed us how to use our harnesses. Then we were off on our own to go through 30 different obstacles – in the trees. We were walking across suspended logs, stepping on floating pegs, climbing on rope walls, and jumping off tree stands – things I never thought I’d see my 45-year old self doing. But here I was, swinging from trees.
Toward the end of the course is a Tarzan swing. I promise you it was just like the movies – a rope hanging from one tree that you have to grab onto and fly in the air to get to the next tree. But before you even get to the swing itself, you have to climb up the side of the tree onto a tiny platform that feels like it’s hundreds of feet in the air. There’s barely enough room on this platform to get my footing, and I had to tiptoe to the edge just to reach the rope to attach to my harness. Once I’m all hooked up, I’m standing there looking at the net hundreds of feet in front of me that I’m supposed to swing into. And then I made the mistake of looking down, seeing there’s nothing below me but the ground – far, far away. It’s just me, a rope, and a net.
I’m contemplating my whole life at this moment. Seriously, why am I here? Yes, I have on a harness, but what consolation is that when I’m getting ready to hurl myself into the air? But I had to do this. All three of my kids had gone before me, so I had to woman up. What would I be teaching them if I quit on something they had already gone through? So I’m standing there, trying to simultaneously psyche myself up, avoid looking down and just focus on the net in front of me, telling myself, “I got this. I’ve got a harness on. I’ve already tested this harness and it has come through for me so far, so I’m good.” Then, I just held my breath, silently called on the name of Jesus, and jumped.
I jumped holding onto my ropes for dear life. But here’s the thing. You drop before you swing! There’s no nice little straight-line swing into the net. No – you fall first as gravity does its thing, pulling you toward the ground. So as much as I’m trying to hold on, I feel my hands losing grip, sliding down the rope. In those seconds, there was no fun and thrill, it was straight fear and terror. And then, in a life-saving moment, I felt my harness tighten around me, creating a mid-air seat that caught me and reminded me “Calm down. I’ve got you.” And before I knew it, I was safe in the net on the other side. I made it, and I’m alive to tell the story.
This all took place several weeks ago, but today God taught me a lesson from that ziplining experience. Starting a business or moving in a new direction with your business is a lot like that Tarzan swing. Your business is what you’ve been called to do and you’ve worked hard to get to where you are. You have climbed above your circumstances and now you’re standing on the platform between decision and action. You’re at the point of no return. And the only thing standing between where you’ve come from and where you’re going is a leap of faith off a platform on a Tarzan swing. As you stand on the edge of your decision, you unwillingly look around and see all the things that could go wrong. You see the potential tragedy if things don’t go as planned. You think about the doubters and the haters. And your own self-doubt begins to set in. “What if it doesn’t work? What if people don’t receive my message? What if I don’t get any clients? What if my product fails? What if I fail?” It’s a sea of fear. And now you have to decide whether to succumb to that fear or keep moving forward. But one thing is certain: you can’t stay on that platform.
When you are on the brink of a decision or new direction with your business, remember that God is with you. But it’s up to you to climb the ladder, stand on the platform and take a leap of faith. Hold on for dear life to His promises and his purposes for your life. It might be a little scary. It may be downright terrifying. And it’s in those moments when you have to speak the Word into your atmosphere, reminding yourself that God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Look fear in the face and say “You know what, I’ve got this because God’s got me.” He is your Harness. So you jump off that platform and swing. Give it all you’ve got. Know that He’s there and He will not fail you. He will guide you toward the safety net of His loving arms and the good plans He has for your life. And when you reach the other side, you’re going to look back at that sea of fear and the platform you leaped from and say “Ha! Look what God brought me through. Look at where I’m standing. I’m so glad I took that leap because what’s ahead of me is so much greater than what’s behind me. And thanks be to God, I’m here.”
If you’re standing on the platform of your business life, grab that Tarzan swing and jump into God’s promises. Don’t be afraid. Trust your Harness. He has never failed you before, and He won’t start now.