Monday, April 7, 2008

The Screamer

You're probably well aware that I'm not an adventure junkie. I like my feet firmly planted, to obey the speed limit, and to remain well in control of my situation. So, something called "The Screamer" normally wouldn't attract me. But on this, my third time to Frontier Ranch, I knew it was something I had to do. It wasn't my first attempt. Two years ago when I attended Captivating with my friend Jinda, I stood in the line with her, waiting to do The Screamer. After watching one pair of ladies do it, I said, "Who am I kidding?" and walked away.

Let me explain: The Screamer is a massive two-person cable swing situated in a grove of trees, with a clearing just wide enough to pass through. To do it, you don a harness and helmet, climb up on a platform (I wish I knew how high...let me just say VERY HIGH), and get tethered to a partner. A plastic swing (much like on a child's swing set) is put underneath each of you, a rope is attached to the front of your harnesses, and you hold on to a trapeze bar with both hands. And then, on the count of three, you both step off the platform into thin air.

Why? Good question. Many ladies assured me "It's great, fun, a blast, ...." And so I suppose that is why many folks do it...for the thrill. Well, as I have already explained, I'm not a thrill seeker. But I felt, as I approached this fourth Captivating, that God wanted to continue deepening a work He began last year when I was at the retreat -- the whole idea of living fearlessly. And I knew that The Screamer was part of this deepening.

So, Thursday afternoon, with much trembling, I donned my helmet and harness and climbed alongside Jennifer (and dear David from Young Life) to stand on the edge of a platform high in a grove of pines. David counted "3...2...1..." and I stepped off into thin air. For a moment I felt like I was hovering, and then gravity took hold and we plunged, WHOOSH! (See photo, Susan on left; Jenn on right.)

I wish I could say I enjoyed it, that I am transformed into an adventure-loving woman. But to be honest, I will NEVER do it again. I was TERRIFIED and confess I kept my eyes closed almost the entire time (except when Jenn told me it was safe to open them. Silly me, I trusted her and found myself face-to-face with the trunk of a pine tree -- no truly, what an amazing friend to take such a leap by my side!)

But, in retrospect, I don't feel disappointed that I didn't love it or ashamed that I couldn't open my eyes. I realize that the whole experience was about this: "3...2...1...step." In that moment, as I stepped off of the platform, I felt no fear or hesitation. I was completely and utterly brave.

There's something larger in this: I think it is such a metaphor for walking with God, at least for me. I am learning to completely trust, even though it may feel like free-falling, that He is able, that He is good, and that He will catch me. And so I am called to be courageous, even when the initial step is a doozy.

1 comment:

Janna said...

I LOVE this story. How cool that you got to do this w/ Jennifer. The fact that you recognize the metaphor is, in a word, rare.

I'm so excited to have another blogging friend, and one who actually lives in the same town as me; I'll add you to my links pronto!