Rope Swing September 2016
We live on the horizontal plane. Our relationships include family, co-workers, and neighbors. Unable to dive below the water very far, nor jump into the air, our personal abilities hold us to the surface of the earth.
Imagine a rope swing going straight up. Two ropes attached to God’s hand, somewhat like puppet strings, but different as you will see. If I pull on the ropes and relax, work and rest, effort and then ease, tension and then relief, the swing moves up and begins to sway with a predictable rhythm. When I am at the top, I seem closest to God, and when I am at the bottom, I seem the farthest from Him. Yet when you think about it, the length of the ropes stay the same so my relationship to Him does not change, only my sense of it.
And when I can’t pull on the rope, my big brother gives me a rising push. It is always an upward shove because my older Brother is Jesus himself. Up and down I go with Him pushing me out of the trough to a higher level. Then as I slide back down, He steps out of the way. God never lets go no matter where I am on the arc of my trajectory; not when I am at the bottom, or at the top; not when I am climbing or falling.
The ropes are Hope and Obedience. But God’s hand is His actual hand. He constantly positions His palm facing toward us from above. I must hang onto those two ropes or the swing will spin out of control and I will fall from the seat. The Hope Rope is made of twisted strands of humility, gratitude, faith, and acceptance. The Obedience Rope is fabricated from lines in the Bible, prayer, submission to His plan, and helping others with love and understanding.
With our world spinning at 1,000 miles per hour, the earth orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, the solar system traveling at 600,000 miles per hour through the galaxy, and the galaxy traveling God only knows where at near the speed of light, the ropes of the swing could get tangled in this confusion of speeds and directions. Yet God keeps it all straight.
And on that day when I can no long sit, or pull, or swing, He will use those very ropes to pull me up to Him. My own arms can never pull me up to Heaven. Nothing I do except sit on the seat of God’s swing will ever get me there. My Brother Christ takes me to the park, finds the playground, and helps me sit on the right one. Then and there it begins, and there it will end. I may come and go, but every child knows that it is the park and the swing that matters and makes everything else worthwhile. Where else can we lean back in our pulling effort and see nothing but blue sky?