There are seven zip lines through the Cherokee Forest in Ducktown Tennessee. Nestled up on a hill overlooking the Ocoee River, the lines are in a wonderful part of the mountains. As we put on the harnesses, the number of straps to pull and locking carabineers was overwhelming. I knew my sensory overload was due to the fact that I rarely do this. On one hand, I was fascinated by the different pieces and their function. On the other hand, fear was knocking at my door.
The key to everything seemed to be a sliding apparatus. It has two rollers that allowed me to slide over the wires. There were three carabineers that clipped into the slider, each redundant to the other. All the gear on me seemed to link to this one piece.
My natural fear of heights left with the first zip-line. It was replaced with a wonderful sense of wonder. With each new zip, my awareness of my gear increased. Because of the role it played, I knew I was safe. With it functioning, I was reasonably confident. Fear had been displaced with awareness and awe. Safety was critical. With it, the door was open to something wonderfully new.
As the speeds increased, I found myself wondering about the sequence I used to gear up. What initially seemed to be a necessary evil to me was now on equal footing. Everything component had a role to play. While some were flashy yellow, others were dull black. Some were metal, others nylon. Certain roles were obvious, other obscure. While it might be easy to rank their order of importance, “as a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach.” (1 Corinthians 12.22)
With the seventh zip, I wanted more. I was ready to drive to the next location and start all over again! This was fun, but there was no time this day. I am ready for the next.