Monday, June 10, 2013

New York, New York!

It was high-speed, and it made me edgy; nervous. I’d gone that fast before, but never in an elevator!

It really didn’t make sense for me to be so uncomfortable. I’ve parasailed in the Bahamas ( ) and went skydiving in Jamul (, so going fast wasn’t the issue. But for whatever reason, riding that elevator to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building with two of my daughters scared me to death!


I could say it was because elevator was high-speed; it was. I could point out that it moved around a lot; it did. But there wasn’t really any reason to think that it wasn’t safe. Hundreds of people use it every day. Yet I come from California, so it was only natural to wonder how much the building would sway during an earthquake. And I was in New York, very near to where the World Trade Center toppled. It actually crossed my mind that the Empire State Building would be a perfect target for terrorists!

Ironically, I was also grateful for the speed, because my focus on my fears and the discombobulating motion caused me to be increasingly uncomfortable and anxious. While neither Bethany nor Megan were at all concerned, I think I held my breath while we were catapulted up the last several floors. I was the only one who let my fears get the best of me! Maybe if I knew the one who engineered the elevator, or better yet, signed off on its safety, I could have enjoyed the ride more.

It was all worth it though, when Bethany, Megan and I stepped out on the observation deck. It was a gorgeously clear day, and all of New York lay sprawled in every direction. We could see helicopters flying at the same height as we were, and looked down on many other skyscrapers. Central Park looked tiny! There was no more fear, but only wonder at the immensity of the city.

Central Park from Empire State Bldg.

Isn’t that the way of things? The journey is often scary, because we tend to focus on what our human nature perceives as risk. Life seems like an out-of-control elevator, and we allow ourselves to imagine the worst case scenario. But more often than not, that thing we fear? Well, it just never happens. And what could have and should have been a time we trusted in the Lord to get us safely where He wants us, became something we feared instead.

God, however, sees the big picture. He knows where He wants to take us, and the best way to get us there. Sometimes a hard journey is necessary to prepare us to fully embrace all that He has for us. It isn’t the easy things in life that cause us to stretch, and struggle, and lean on Him; it’s the hard ones. In the end, He intends the journey, as well as the destination, to be a blessing.

I know this about Him; even if all else fails, He cannot.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Further reflection:

  1. Have you ever looked back at your life’s journey, and wished you’d been able to relax and enjoy the ride?
  2. What stopped you from doing so?
  3. Write Isaiah 41:10 on a 3 x 5 card and find a place to carry it with you. Whenever you start to fret about the journey God has you on, pray it back to Him.

Father, You know there are times when I struggle. My head embraces Your presence and Your purpose in the midst of hard things, but my heart lags behind in trusting You. Please, help me to relax, moment-by-moment fully aware of Your presence, Your sovereignty, and Your control of every circumstance in my life. Thank You that I can fully trust You, not necessarily to keep me safe from harm, but always safely in Your presence.

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