Imagine you are gathered among a group of strangers. You are the first one to be told to climb a few rungs up the ladder to a platform that is five feet off the ground. You slowly begin the short climb. You will not be high off the ground. An easy leap off the platform and both feet will be firmly planted on the ground again. But, instead, you are asked to do something that no one would possibly think of doing and then only with a group of friends, not strangers. You arrive at the top. You take a few steps to the edge of the platform and are immediately blind folded. You are turned around backwards and told to place both arms across your chest, to lean back and …..fall. Hesitantly, you do it. THUD!
No, not onto the ground injuring your back. But into the arms of the strangers that have so kindly interlocked their arms among each other to gracefully catch you. With a round of applause from all of them and a smile on your face, the instructor says, “Congratulations! You’ve just survived the trust fall.”
The first time I ever participated in a trust fall was the summer before my sixth grade year while a camper at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri. I was with nine other 11-yr-olds and totally freaked out. I can still remember the first thought that came to my mind. “Can these nine scrawny 11-yr-old actually catch me?” Granted, I probably only weighed 80 pounds soaking wet. But I was scared out of my mind, with a fear of breaking my back. Each of us thought the same thing when it was our turn to fall. But thankfully, my two counselors talked each of us through it and we all were able to fall into the arms of the other campers without a single person being dropped or injured. And it felt good!
Since that first experience, I’ve participated in many other trust falls through my lifetime, even as an adult. I’ve also led a few groups into the fall as well. And not once do I remember anyone getting hurt of being dropped. Sometimes it took a while for the faller to gain the confidence and trust of the catchers, with a sense of fear going through their heads. But in the end, when the faller was caught safely, a good feeling came through with the desire of doing it again in the near future.
Proverbs 3:5 is one of my favorite verses, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Just as the faller trusts the catcher to catch them during the trust fall, we need to trust God with every step in our life. Each of us will stumble and fall many times in our lives for any given reason, sometimes intentionally and sometimes nonintentionally. But God is always with us, to catch us, to put us back on solid ground again and again. He has done that for me in the past few years, especially while in solitary confinement, the most horrific time of my life. He was with me and I felt Him there. God will never leave you or abandon you no matter what you’ve done or how rough life is. He is there for you. Reach out to Him, take hold of Him and trust Him every second of the day. And next time you are falling, let God gracefully catch you in His loving arms. Just Let Go….and Let God!