“Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.” Proverbs 4:10-13
As I read these verses above, I could not help but think about how they related so well with the high ropes course my teen boys did this past Wednesday. If you don’t know what a high ropes course is, I have put a picture of a course to the left to give you an idea. In essence, it is a series of different paths, suspended from a height above the ground, where you are required to do a variety of skills, so you can make a complete loop.
The reason this course came to mind as I read the verses from Proverbs today is that the safety element (that is the checks put in place by the instructors to make sure all of the participants have their safety tethers in place) is a must if a participant plans to live through the experience. In our verses today, the writer is paralleling that same type of scenario with the importance of safety instructions and when followed how they are likely to save our lives.
For the ropes course it was just a matter of my boys having to learn the steps needed to transfer from one element to the next so there was never a point when they were without some tether. Similarly for us, it is just a matter of learning the steps of wisdom the Lord puts before us in his word (our safety instructions) to make sure we too at all times are tethered to Him.
When my youngest son first got up on the course he got tangled a bit and ended up coming down in a panic because his tether had been compromised. But, by the end of the afternoon he was up on the course doing all of the elements with great confidence. I have to think that when we are told that our “steps will not be hindered” and “when we run we will not stumble”, those truths are very similar to the experience my youngest son had. At first he was not used to the tether and it messed him up a bit, but over time he got used to having it there and found ways to work with it instead of against it. He was free to step out in bold confidence with every challenge he faced.
We too, as we start to follow God and His ways, have a hard time when we are just getting started. It seems awkward and difficult to be so tethered to God by following the wisdom He has set before us. Yet over time as we use that tether more and more, we find that our tether to Him gives us great confidence and freedom to do the more scary and dangerous things (at least from our perspective) He calls us to. It is then, when we have found that ease of walking within His wisdom, we can step out in bold confidence and go where God calls us. Tethered to God and His wisdom allows us to walk wherever He calls with the firm knowledge that we are never in danger of losing our eternal life with Him.
Today make an effort to lessen the clumsy nature of your tether to God. Be resolute about walking with it firmly in place, knowing full well that when you become more accustomed to its presence in your life you will live in a freedom that is beyond your wildest dreams and the confidence it will give you in walking with the Lord will take you to heights you have yet to imagine.