I never cared for Physical Education classes when I was in High School. I loved to play baseball and basketball, but I was not what you would consider athletic by any stretch of the imagination. I think because P.E. wasn’t “fun” to me. We were constantly running, jumping, or exercising of some type. I really thought it was a waste of my time. I spent most of my time during those classes day dreaming about other things and wishing I was somewhere else at the time. Perhaps if I had been a star High School Football or Basketball Player things might have been different, but there was never any danger of that happening so it was agony for me each day of P.E. class.
I remember one particular class we were scheduled to be visited by a “special exercise guest.” You just can’t get much more exciting than that. I just knew that we were finally going to do something fun or meet some famous athlete. We made our way from the P.E. Locker room and arrived out on the ball field only to be greeted by a local ROTC Drill Sergeant standing in front of a wooden wall with a rope hanging from the top. You’ve seen them in movies involving soldiers and their training. The goal is to run towards the wall; grab the rope; and pull yourself and climb up the wall and over. My excitement turned to horror. I knew my turn was coming and I would have to attempt the wall but, at that moment, I would have rather gone to the Dentist. I knew I couldn’t climb that wall. I could barely do pull-ups on the high bar, much less climb a wall while holding a rope. Sure enough, my turn came. I ran. I pulled. I climbed. I fell. Just as predicted.
I tried and tried over and over and just couldn’t make it. After about 5 or 6 attempts, our guest Drill Sergeant pulled me aside and told me he had faith I could make it. He told me that he was going to climb from the back of the wall, reach over the wall and be in position to grab my hand as I approached the wall. Instead of using the rope, I was to jump and grab his hand and let him basically pull me up the wall.
After a few deep breaths, I ran as fast as I could toward the wall, jumped up toward the Sargent’s hand and somehow managed to almost reach the top of the wall. Instead of grabbing his arm, I took hold of the rope, reached the remaining short distance to the top of the wall, threw my leg over the top, and landed on the other side—–just like I was supposed to do. I don’t know how I did it, but there was something about just knowing that the Sergeant was there for support that increased my confidence to the point that I ended up not needing any assistance afterall. I realized that his mere presence and encouragement was enough to make me successful.
What a wonderful Christian lesson I learned that day. Even though I may not physically see God, I know that HE is part of my life. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE is there to reach out His arms to me for support. I know that HE is there to wrap His loving arms around me when I need it most. I know that HE is there to encourage me and help me overcome the barriers in my life. Whatever barriers I have faced in life, I’ve learned that God is there to help me climb the wall and conquer the barrier. I’m never climbing alone.
Are you facing walls and barriers in your own life? If so, I would encourage you to approach those barriers with confidence and strength and remember that God is already there waiting for you during the journey and at the finish line with open arms.