In the early 1980’s, I went on a white water rafting trip with my dad, my best friend, Carol, and some other friends. We went to Hico, West Viginia and rafted on the New River. What a thrill it was! The contrast between the calm of the slower moving water and the rush of the rapids was amazing.
But what was equally as thrilling to me was when we went to overlook the river by climbing out on a ledge, hundreds of feet above it. It was early morning and a heavy mist was all around us. You couldn’t see the river but you could hear the roar of it below. It probably took an hour but as the mist lifted, I walked to the edge of the ledge and peered over. It was breath taking. There were several others there who wouldn’t come over and look, because you had to get right on the edge in order to see the river below. I always felt bad for them…the experience that they were missing.
As many of you know, I am an avid reader. I recently finished The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. There is something about the story that draws me to it time and time again. Evans has an amazing way of painting a scene with words so rich that you can close your eyes and see or hear or even smell what he is describing. But this story is much more than pretty scenes…in fact, the opening scene is so horrific, it makes you wonder why you would read on.
But, as in life, my interest was piqued the first time I read it. Would the characters find inner strength? Would they persevere? Would they overcome?
I’m not going to give any of the story away, because if you haven’t read it, I would strongly recommend it (in fact, my book is ready to be loaned out). But I will pass along a passage that stuck with me since the first time I read the book over ten years ago.
“He had the choice to go on fighting life or to accept it.”
“He had no choice.”
“He did. It was hard as hell, but he could have gone on. Gone on making himself more and more unhappy. But what he chose to do instead was to go to the brink and look beyond. And he saw what was there and he chose to accept it. What just happened to him, laying there like that, was the worst thing he could imagine. And you know what? He found out it was okay…the darkest hour comes before the dawn. That was Pilgrim’s darkest hour…and he survived it.”
Throughout my life, there have been many “darkest hours”. Some have taken longer than others to face. The one thing I have figured out is that if I deal with them, if I face them head on, they bring with them an amazing peace. God is good this way. He is faithful. By turning to him, voicing aloud my concerns, my fears, my dread…I invite him into the situation. I give him permission to use it/me.
What in your life have you been avoiding…dancing around? Are you content to stay back and deal with your issues on your own? If so…how’s that working for you? Want something more…perhaps, peace?? Ask God to take a walk with you…talk to him. Walk to the brink and look beyond…you might be amazed at what you find.
Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. –John 14:27
1 thought on “The view from a ledge…”
I think sometimes if we really knew how dark our hour was we wouldn’t be able to bear it. It’s only in the looking back that we realize just how bad it really was and how God’s hand was upon the situation even when we felt our most bleak and empty and hopelessly desperate. I love this song by Josh Wilson: