What do you do when life seems to be spinning out of control?
My answer used to be to go to a metaphor I learned from rock climbing. In rock climbing, a person has four points of contact. On more challenging climbs, one ought to move only one point of contact at a time; sure that the other three are steady and secure. Moving one at a time limits the reach and the amount of change with any one move, but it protects one from falling.
When one faces change in life, then, one ought to limit the amount of change one is facing at any given time. The lower the overall number of changes one faces, the more drastic the individual change one will be able to deal with and assimilate into one’s life.
The trouble with this theory is we don’t usually get to decide how much change we have to face. Sometimes it even feels like every point of contact we thought we could count on has been released. We feel like we are left holding on with one hand at best. Few of us have the strength of character (or in one arm) to steady the entirety of our lives, or our bodies. We are left hanging, and our fingers are getting numb from holding on.
Throughout scripture people are relentlessly invited by God to trust in God. We are told that the other things in which we trust: land, money, possessions, political power, everything else we try so desperately to hang onto will fail us. As God’s people, we are and have been taught for millennia to trust in God and God only.
God is not a contact onto which we grab and hold on; God is one who grabs hold of and holds onto us.
When it feels like life is spinning out of control, know that God has not and will not let go of you!