Words of Worth

So I Never Mastered the Monkey Bars

October 4, 2014

monkey1I never mastered the Monkey Bars and I would like to blame that on Google.  I’d like to blame Google because it wasn’t around when I needed to google how to swing from rung to rung of the bars like a monkey swaying through the trees. I could climb to the top of the monkey bars and perch myself there, but I could not even begin to gracefully let go of one rung and grasp the next.  But I guess it’s not fair to blame Google even though many videos now exist on “How to Conquer Monkey Bars” or “Better Movement on Monkey Bars”. The truth is I need to blame my fear and not Google! My fear of failing and falling kept me from moving straight across the bars like a monkey swinging from tree to tree!

This aspect of the recess playground experience has left some scars because a couple of embarrassing things happened each time I attempted to “get in the swing” of things.  The first scar was the result of holding up the line of “fellow monkeys”.  Imagine me hanging from the first rung of the bars causing a grid lock for the line of classmates behind me waiting their turn to gracefully move across the monkey bars.  They finally got so tired of waiting that they would have someone hoist them onto the second rung in front of me and begin their swing from there. So now I was not only afraid, but I was also humiliated. If I only released one hand from the first bar and reached forward to the second bar, that humiliation could have been avoided.  But no matter how hard I tried talking my hand into letting go, my fearful thoughts paralyzed me.  All I could think of were the “what ifs”. What if I let go and this bad thing or that bad thing happens to me?  So there I hung for almost an entire recess until the second scarring thing happened to me.  My teacher “rescued” me and helped me back down to the ground and in one fell swoop affirmed my failure.  WISH. THAT. I. HAD.FALLEN. INSTEAD.

Now that I’m grown up, at least on the outside, I don’t attempt the monkey bars on any playgrounds but there are “spiritual monkey bars” that do paralyze from time to time because I fear the unknown, I fear failure, I fear getting hurt, I fear rejection, I fear making the wrong decision.

However, I don’t need Google to conquer this. I only need the Word of God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

It is clear the opposite of trusting God is leaning on my own understanding—trying to figure things out on my own. If I trust myself, I will focus on all the possible ways I could fail. If I’m trusting God, I will focus on all the possible ways He will use the “spiritual monkey bars” whether I fail or not. If I let go of the bar and happen to catch the next one, my trust in God will strengthen. If I let go of the bar and fall to the ground, I’ll see the ground isn’t so far away and God can use my falls and failures as He chooses.

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