Two years ago, Alaska called, and we decided to answer that call, not knowing the heart-thumping adventure we would soon choose – on purpose! We’d heard about all the many Alaskan wonders to behold and the unparalleled experiences to be had, so we began to plan our trip. After booking our cruise and land tour, we surveyed the excursion choices available. As I examined each one, I came across a zip-line adventure. We’d never done any kind of zip-line before, but this was no ordinary zip-line. Oh no! This one began at the top of an Alaskan mountaintop as high as the Empire State Building and boasted a 90-second descent.
Knowing Ron’s lack of love for high places, I jokingly said, “Here’s one we could do!” After I plopped my computer in his lap, he slowly read the description, and boldly declared, “I’ll do it if you’ll do it! (He later admitted that he didn’t think I would.)
However, there’s just something about a dare that still, even to this day, flips a switch in my good sense. I replied (and you can imagine the tone and head bob), “Well, if YOU can do it, I can do it!” It was on! Box checked. Save button clicked. All signed up!
When our time came, we sat at the top of the mountain with uncertain expectations and instructions dancing in our heads. Harnessed tightly. (I double-checked.) Feet propped on the trap door. We were ready. The man holding our future in his hands counted down, then pressed the button hurling us through the air so fast that my eyelashes lay flat against my head like a wet leaf on a windshield. We were told we could use both arms as rudders to steer our eyes toward a better view and to keep us from spinning. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to let go, but after a few seconds I released my death grip. Can I just tell you that the view was spectacular? We were so proud of ourselves for stepping out of our comfort zone! The thrill of falling that fast from that high can’t be given proper words. It was totally indescribable.
Just so you get a feel for where I’m going with this story, check out this short 99-second video:
So now, I’m hoping you have a dare switch that I can flip for you. I dare you to go on an adventure with the Holy Spirit by allowing Him permission to clean up your thought life. I now readily admit that I did not want to accept the fact that I had an abundance of negative self-talk looping through my mind much of the time. I thought of myself as being positive and encouraging, but soon learned that I spoke to myself in ways I would never speak to anyone else. All it took was my counselor-friend packaging a question for me to carry home so that I could open it often and hear her voice ask, “So, what are the negative things you say to yourself?” One by one, they lined up in the hallway of my mind. Every day it seemed a new one wanted to be the line leader.
I’ve not conquered my negative self-talk completely, but I’ve come a very long way. It’s taken a diligent, determined, and systematic approach to prod me to dig deeper than I wanted. The Holy Spirit has been in charge of a process that surely must mimic that of those addicted to drugs and alcohol. He used His big guns to get my attention and forced me to go all the way back to my deepest, gnarliest root. He’s put people in my path to push me at times and comfort me at others. I’ve felt the Spirit calm my thoughts like a grandmother gently raking her fingers through the hair of a drowsy grandchild lying in her lap. He’s allowed me to feel the presence of Jesus through the hugs of those I know love me. He’s lit a fire underneath me to say the hard things that I needed to say. I’ve learned “I’m sorry” and “thank you” help keep my thoughts on those I love.
I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it! You have the Holy Spirit power inside you to help you become a new creation! Your expectations may be uncertain, but pray for wisdom and God will give it to you. You have the written Word to give you your instructions; keep them in your heart and most especially in your mind. Step out of your comfort zone, and silence your negative self-talk! Go ahead and check the box to unzip your mind. Click the I AM SAVED button, and confidently sign up for the Holy Spirit adventure of your life!
Don’t worry about the fall – God holds your future in His hands, and He will lift you up in due time – and it may take a long time. Don’t worry about the speed – trust me, you’ll move slower than you want. You’ll spin round and round for a moment … or two … or three, but one day you will eventually let go, and let God do His thing.
Tighten your harness, boys and girls! The ride is inexpressible!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV