How Oregon trees taught me to give God control


As we walked up to the tree, my heart sank. I knew exactly what our next activity was on our trek in the woods with the YD adventures crew. I was so excited about getting to take a group of kids from our apartment buildings out camping for a few days, but as we approached the dreaded tree I began to question the wisdom of that decision. Ever since I witnessed my sister fall from a zip line, I have been a little leery of the idea of jumping out of trees. And these were not just any trees, these were Oregon trees (If you have been here then you know exactly what I'm talking about).

Oregon trees are TALL; however, this particular one seemed ENORMOUS considering the fact that we were about to be hoisted up to the top, just to be dropped down. So being the kind missionary that I am, I of course let everyone else go first. But I wasn't fooling anyone. I was scared. Scared spitless. They all assured me that I did not have to do it, or even that I did not have to go all the way to the top, but I was determined to not be the only one who didn't ride on the swing thing.

So I was shakingly strapped into this contraption and hauled by my fellow companions, via a pulley system, into the tree, not daring to look down. Once at the top, it was my job to make the next move. I could stay at the top of the tree forever (or at least until my friends got tired of holding me there). Or I could pull the lever which released me, and trust that the rope was going to catch me when I fell. After a few seconds of going over the pros and cons of this decision in my head, I pulled the lever. I let go. It was a little scary at first, but after swinging around a few times it was actually kind of fun!

When everyone was done we gathered together and our leader began to talk to us about each of our experiences on the swing. It really got me thinking about my own life. For so long I have been waiting at the top of the tree, not fully giving God control. Little by little, I have been giving over bits and pieces, but never my all, never fully pulling the lever and trusting He would catch me and lead me where He wants me to go. This experience has changed my life completely, especially concerning how to live a missional lifestyle. By giving the Lord the reins and letting Him lead me, I am able to see so much more then I was before. I have been able to talk to people who I normally would not have, and I have not been as stressed when a plan goes awry.

Just like the swing, it was a little scary at first, giving up control, but seeing the Lord work freely in me and through me has been an incredibly fun adventure. I encourage you, if you're still at the top of the tree, pull the lever! Don't let fear hold you back from being all God wants you to be. Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the a Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Give him control because he is ready, waiting and strong enough to catch you, and He will take you on a crazy, fun adventure that will change you forever.

Becca Burt, a student from Tarleton University, is serving as a Go Now summer missionary serving in Beaverton, Oregon.

Related articles: Confessing struggles and insecurities during a heart-felt sleepover / Sadly leaving Portland, but God continues to work / A vessel for the Lord in Oregon