I just returned from a 2-day family trip to Kalahari Water Park. It’s funny what can go through your mind during those moments you’re tunneling down a curvy waterslide, being pushed by the force of water.
I learned how to follow Jesus.
It first happened when I was riding what became known to my family members as “The Blue Slide.” This one person, enclosed slide, is 85-90% in the dark. This means the rider travels through pitch blackness, simply moving at the speed of the water. There’s no indication of where the tunnel is headed, when it will turn, or when it will end. It’s truly all trust. Just go with the flow and know at some point, there will be light at the end of the tunnel. The first time I rode this slide, I felt a bit of anxiety. I discovered that my full trust had to be devoted to the slide and the flow of the water. If an obstruction were to be in my way, I would never see it prior to impact. I was unaware of the slide’s path and simply had to allow my body to move unquestioning and completely willing to go where the water directed. Of course, the slide eventually re-opened into the lighted area and I was back in the main waterpark area – I could see where I was headed.
A short time later, I jumped on another slide that utilized a 4 person raft. So, this time I wasn’t alone. I was with two of my daughters and a friend. Wouldn’t you know it? I ended up going backward down the slide, and yep, we were again in the dark. Suddenly I was responsible for 3 other people. I was in the dark. And I was going backward. That takes a new level of trust and faith. Not only was it impossible for me to know where I was going, I had no control over the lives of my own family members. Once again, it was all about faith and trust.
Following Jesus is like this.
When Jesus called His disciples, he didn’t offer them a map showing where they would go and what they would encounter. He simply said “Follow Me” and they “blindly” stepped out in faith, and went in His direction.
Every day in our own lives, we have the choice to make a similar decision. We can try to navigate our own paths; often even use logical faith-based thinking to determine what we believe would be the best course of action for our lives. But in the end, Jesus is truly the one who should be guiding us. Jesus wants us to trust Him the way I trusted the path of the water slides. I couldn’t see where I was going. I didn’t know when I would turn. I didn’t know when the darkness would end and the light would return. I simply had to have faith it was all going the right way.
Later in the day, I discovered no line on the blue slide, so I decided to ride the same slide several times in a row. I discovered the more I experienced the slide, the less anxious I was about the dark pathway. I still didn’t know where I was headed, when I would turn, or how quickly the ride would end. But I knew I could trust the path I was taking.
This is a definition of trusting Jesus.
It is normal to feel a bit of anxiety and unsureness at first. How can we truly trust that things are going to work out? How do we really know what decision we are to make? Is it okay to blindly step forward, solely trusting Jesus’s plan and path? But then after you step out in faith the first time, it slowly becomes easier to trust that Jesus truly does have that perfect path for your life and trusting Him again is truly the best way to go.
So go ahead, get onto your inner tube of life. Step into the passageway of the plan God has for you and trust that even if you feel like you’re in the dark, as long as you are putting your life in His hands, you will move in the right direction.
-Written by Jennifer Beck, Faith & Friends TV Producer and Co-Host
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