Life is Most Exciting . . . . Between Trapezes

“Life is most exciting  . . . between trapezes!”  When Kris and I we members of The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, were we exposed to some of the best and most powerful teaching and preaching in the country.  One of our favorites was Dr. David Scoates.  He was a fabulous storyteller, a compelling teacher, not to mention a strong man of God.

In one of his messages to us, Dr. Scoates was talking about moving ahead with confidence and enthusiasm as we engage in the incredible adventure of pursuing God’s direction for us.  He ended his message with the statement: “Life is most exciting . . . between trapezes”.

That statement has stayed with me ever since.   It has prompted a lot of thought and reflection about what is involved when in faith we follow God’s plan for our lives.

Let’s think about the analogy; the trapeze artist starts out in a secure environment . . . standing on her perch at one end of the arena, high above the crowd who is craning their collective necks to watch the artistry (I don’t know about you but standing on that tiny perch 40 feet above the crowd would be anything but secure to me!).   Then the artist ventures off of the secure perch gripping her trapeze with both hands, launching herself out and swinging over the audience.  Just to warm up (and to dazzle the crowd) the artist engages in a series of spins and twirls on the trapeze . . . first sitting . . . then standing . . . than appearing to fall only to catch herself with her knees and show her large smile to the crowd as she swings upside down with her arms outstretched!

Now she starts swinging from her hands and her audience, now fully engaged, knows that she is getting down to business.  She swings back and forth several times and as she does, someone on the other side of the arena appears on the perch there.  He unhooks that trapeze and watches his partner.  She finally gives an imperceptible signal and he starts the second trapeze swinging . . . .empty.  Finally, our first artist takes the leap and flies to the empty trapeze, turns around and flies back to the first one again.  Swinging higher now, the team start their routine over again.  This time when she releases from her trapeze she flies higher and while traveling to the other, perfectly synchronized trapeze, does a couple of summersaults before catching the other trapeze, which is exactly where it should be.  The crowd finally breathes collectively!

Our artists now fly all over the place with increasing difficulty and showmanship until they end their performance by dropping with a graceful maneuver into the net below.  The crowd goes nuts.

I bet you are already seeing the analogy.  For me, this story is full of parallels to us following God’s direction for our life.   In Philippians, Paul tells us that He can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.  And I think most of us believe that . . . at least while we are listening to God and thinking about following the direction He is giving us.  This is the part where we are standing on the perch at one end of the arena.

As we rely more and more on God and our faith gets stronger, we venture out and take that first real step of faith.  Perhaps it’s doing a business plan for a venture you want to start, or looking at your first house to purchase.  Perhaps it’s letting your emotional barriers down so you can love and be loved.  Now you have gripped the trapezes and made your first swing out over the crowd.  As you continue at this level of commitment in following God’s direction, you become more and more comfortable with it . . . swinging . . . still on one side of the arena but getting more bold with your tricks.  You are looking into financing on that house or talking to potential business partners about your new venture or allowing that other person to express their feelings for you.

Finally, you are to the point that you sense God working behind the scenes on your behalf You swing higher and higher and finally release your trapeze . . . your “security” and fly through the air trusting that God has set the other trapeze into motion at precisely the right time and speed for you to catch.  With that successful landing on that first attempt you become more and more confident in God’s protection and involvement in your act.  You are able to do more and more things with increasing levels of difficulty . . . buying that house or making those first deals with the new business, allowing the relationship to blossom.

But beware, as your success continues, there will be a tendency to believe the lies that God’s adversary will tell you: This is all about you . . . look what you have done . . . and you did it all yourself and didn’t even need God in it at all!

That is when you may find the other trapeze just out of synch . . . out of reach!  But also remember that even if you do find the other trapeze out of synch and you miss it and fall to the net; our God is your net . . . the God of second chances.  He will allow you to climb back up that ladder and work on your routine with Him however many times it takes for  you to get it right!

Life is most exciting . . . between trapezes . . . when you are listening to God!