I was much thinner several years ago. I was so thin that I made tree climbing a hobby and I could climb any tree effortlessly. In my younger years, I would climb trees faster than anyone. I felt like I was gifted with limbs that allowed me to swing from branch to branch and I had more than enough strength to pull my slender frame upwards. I would climb a mango tree, a Santol tree, and a guava tree easily. When there’s kite fighting in the neighborhood (I don’t know if that happens elsewhere), one “fallen” kite would glide and everyone will chase it to the direction where the wind blows it. Whoever gets it, gets to keep it as his trophy. Usually it gets entangled on trees and that explains why tree climbing is serious business in the neighborhood. What I’m poor at in kite making I make up for tree climbing!
During climbs, I was never scared… until I looked down. I realized I’ve gone so high that the branches become thinner. I would literally shake coming down!
I realized our life’s journey is somewhat the same. We are fierce when we focus on our climbing and we are relentless when the branches are thicker. But as we proceed, the wind blows stronger, the flowers on the ground look smaller, the branches appear thinner and that’s when we stop! You don’t realize all of these, not til you look down. And that changes everything. Suddenly fear comes in.
All of us will come to a point in our life where the branches would appear thinner. We would hear cracking sounds every step of the way. If you walk through dry leaves and twigs on the ground, the sound of it de-stresses you and makes you eased. If you hear the same cracking sound whilst you’re on a tree, I could imagine you clenching for dear life.
When do branches appear thinner?
A career shift. A Family crisis. An upcoming due. A dying grade. A big decision. A relational conflict. Sickness. Death. Lost. And so on.
It is on times like these that we become more sensitive to the cracking sounds and the rush of fear and doubt comes in. It is during times like these that we look down and freeze. This is worth contemplating on because it is also in times like these that the decision to trust God no matter happens is made. The Bible says, without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
If the thin branches freeze us and make us look down and open up the Pandora of fears and doubts in us, we will have to change our gaze and therefore shift our focus from fear to faith. Faith amidst any circumstance, a full trust in God tells us that we will keep climbing with certainty that God’s hands will keep us from falling and no one and nothing can snatch us from the hands of God (John 10:29).