Last final: done. Sophomore year of college: complete. Summer: where you at?
Not long after I dropped my bags at home I found it. Squeezing in the front seat of a car next to my two best friends from high school felt the way your skin does when it soaks in sunshine. I couldn’t be happier and my heart couldn’t be warmer.
A half hour later we were bouncing up the steps to one of my favorite coffee shops. It’s an old Victorian house with a wrap-around porch and windows sticking out of every angle. Because I am a child I always bring my coffee upstairs to the second level, and this day was no different except now I had beautiful company. Us three girls circled around a wooden table surrounded by windows and more sunlight. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the conversation we had at that table was much, much brighter.
Eventually we made our way to the river. The St. Croix River divides Minnesota and Wisconsin and is lined with jagged cliffs and, at this time of year, lush green trees. The view from these rocks never fails to make me reach for my phone and absent-mindedly take a picture—even though I’ve already seen it countless times.
As girls typically do, we took a couple pictures together to save the moment. God’s masterpiece was stunning, and I can’t forget that we too are God’s masterpiece.
We sat on the cliff and let our legs dangle over the edge. Like I said, I have been here many times before, but I have never felt as uneasy as I did then.
One wrong move could send me plunging into the icy river. I sensed the weight of it all. The seriousness of it. The pressure that I had a choice. It was paralyzing. Power like that should never be given to someone like me, a little kid who races to the second floor of a coffee shop. I’ve never been very good at making decisions. Mostly because I want to do the right thing. Eh. Scratch that, I want to do the best thing. So I freeze—stuck on the edge. God has given us such freedom. We can live our lives how we want, with who we want, when we want. We can choose anything.
“Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.” 1 Corinthians 1-:23-24
Fact: We can’t live well if we are clinging to the edge, and we can’t help others live well if we are gripping the cliff with both hands.
Looking over the edge, it is easy to forget that the rock we are standing on is firm. It is safe, secure, and solid.
“And they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer.” Psalm 78:35
And suddenly this is one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. I choose to stay on my rock. Because truth is, I will make some not-so-good decisions and I will probably make a lot of the wrong ones too. But as long as I stand on the rock, I will be safe from the edge. I can loosen my grip, climb back up, and use my two hands to help others who need to be rescued. I can live well because the Lord is my rock, and no decision I make will change that.
You know where to find me,
“God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.” Psalm 18:2