I’ve been trying for a week to get this post out!  An “FFF” (Forced Family Fun) day at a local ropes course last weekend provided lots of lessons……physical, emotional and spiritual.  We learned about conquering our fears, and about the sweetness of family. Simple, homegrown goodness.
Faced with a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, we voted to trek up to Traben-Trarbach to tackle an outdoor adventure ropes course.  Since Dad was still recovering from a touch of bronchitis himself, he kindly offered to be the team photographer for the afternoon.  So that left Mom to step up and lead the tribe, even being a little leery of her own physical limitations
After a short introduction (yes, someone offered them in English) to the rules of engagement, i.e. how to not kill yourself and hang on, we started climbing.  Just like skiing, there were different grades of difficulty.  Courses for the kinder, beginners, experienced, professionals and iron men. And incidentally, higher in difficulty usually meant higher in altitude!!!  We all began at the beginning and then progressed quickly, with Dad recording everything for posterity.

 

Honestly, I did really good.  I actually surprised myself!!!!  The offspring are all little monkeys who can pretty much do whatever they want.  So their stealth in climbing was no surprise. Even the youngest.  As the pride was settling in (imagine my head bobbing here)  we all came to the end of  the first real course and I was ‘knockin’ it out’ so to speak….UNTIL……….
There it was, my first zip-line encounter………It really wasn’t that high or far to descend……(It actually was higher than the pictures tell.) Why did it seem like I was going to jump into the great dark abyss?  Then why couldn’t I just let go???????????????  I sat there, right on the edge of the platform for what seemed like an eternity.  Other rapellers stacking up behind me……Oh the pressure……..Come on Della…….JUST JUMP!!!!
I knew the harness would catch me…………or did I?  These seconds ticked and I urged my mind to conquer my matter (otherwise known as fear).  Somewhere in my head I still believed that it was all up to my arm strength to hold on.  When, in reality, I just needed to trust in my harness!!!!!  In actuality, I was only holding onto the rope that was connected to the harness!!!!
Isn’t that just like our spiritual life?  We are asked by the Creator of Adventure himself to just jump and let HIM take us on amazing adventures.  But in our minds, we think new avenues or life changes will, in effect, mean us hanging on with our own strength!!  But HE is our harness!!!  Holding us securely without any of our own effort!!!!!

 

I did finally jump and what a thrill!!!! Those split seconds when you can’t feel the harness catch yet are stomach churning. Later, we came to a REALLY long and high zip ride.  Even the Cherry Cheeks was game.  Probably 50 high and 300 or so feet long, I’m scared again!!!!!!!  I really needed someone to just push me off the platform.  I finally did let go and jump and what a rush!!!!!!!!!
(Yes, this zip line started at the top of that SECOND ladder!!)
The Thinker and I then attempted a course higher and longer than we’d done yet.  It required some thinking skill to analyze the best way to place a foot or hand to put out the least effort.  (This one was exhausting!)
All in all, the day was a wonderful day of family time.  We’ve all been through the wringer these last few months with Dad managing the needs of an extremely high tempo squadron, and Mom taking up the slack at home.  Inspection after inspection, we’ve patiently waited for the stress and long hours to subside.  Finally, we get him back!  He did a bang-up job having us in his focus all day!!