November 19, 2020
By Ashley Mofield
If you grew up in the 90’s and were involved in a church youth ministry, you might recognize the proper dialogue used in this classic trust fall activity. Not that trust falls find their home solely in the 90’s. Youth group cronies plummeted backwards blindly into their peers extended arms long before I was a teen, and I’m sure many still take the Nestea trust plunge, minus the Swatches and WWJD bracelets.
However, trust falls were “the bomb” in the 90’s! Whether at church camp, a leadership retreat, or a fun activity to build group comradery on a Wednesday night, we threw down. Allow me to set the stage.
Several members of the group line up in pairs, facing each other with arms extended out and interlinking without grabbing the persons arms you are facing. These hands and arms with tiny middle school girls along with football players, gamers, and book worms, will be the safety net for some lucky lad who blindly falls backward into their welcoming group’s arms. (Reminder: Please remove jewelry, and don’t lock arms. Accidents happen!)
And then the group shouts aloud the above dialogue. The one taking the fall, backwards, from a high platform, anxiously asks his friends, “Ready?” They assure him they are, and in cadence respond, “Ready!” He warns them of his soon to be gravitational rear facing splash down to their awaiting safety net of arms, “Falling.” They again assure him he can safely descent, “Fall!”
While the game taught about trusting in each other and was good for team building, the ultimate debrief involved how we can trust God. Undoubtedly, faith is sometimes easier than it sounds. Some get nervous wondering if their friends really will catch them if they fall from an 8-foot platform. Others are fine with that, but struggle with the reality of God’s rescuing arms. To be sure, Christianity involves us realizing that we can’t catch ourselves, and we must trust the only safety net who truly can catch us.
The book of Proverbs encourages us to, “TRUST in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). That is precisely what this falling entails—trust.
As I trust in the Lord, I am trusting in the only One who is able. His majesty and provisions are far beyond my understanding and will always exceed my expectations. Acknowledging Jesus provides my only hope for holiness. He is my only hope for forgiveness of sin. He is the only provision I have for the deadly descents that life throw at me. Hope and trust in Him is the safety net.
I’m reminded of the popular CCM song “Dive,” where Steven Curtis Chapman declares,
“My heart is racing and my knees are weak as I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back once my feet have left the ledge.
And in the rush I hear a voice
That's telling me it's time to take the leap of faith
So here I go!”
Take the leap of faith and trust God. He will catch you, and He will lift you up! This simple idea of trust embodies the entire meaning of Christianity. I trust Jesus enough to catch me. I surrender, and I fall on Him.
The Psalmist stated, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). Indeed, no matter what we face or fear, trusting Jesus is the answer.
Even if the leap intimidates you, jump! Jesus truly will catch you. It’s about who you are trusting to catch you, and not how high or how far you leap. I love these reassuring words from Chris Rice’s Untitled Hymn: “Fall on Jesus. Fall on Jesus. Fall on Jesus, and live!”
So back to those trust falls. Imagine you are asking Jesus if He is ready to catch you. “Ready?” Of course He is ready, He is Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is the author of our salvation and perfecter of our faith!
“Falling . . .”