Bob Briggs – Chaplain, Logan United Christian Soccer Club


Imagine you are sitting on a park bench; it’s a beautiful sunny day, not even one angry cloud in the sky, and you are watching some kids play in the playground. It seems to be there is a boy and his sisters having fun while their dad watches on. As you watch, the older brother decides to show off his newfound skills on the monkey bars. He cries out in a loud voice; ‘Watch me …. Watch me’. He jumps up on the monkey bars and easily glides across to the other side. He climbs down off the rungs with a grin from ear to ear, obviously feeling very satisfied with himself.

Not to be left out the older sister said, ‘I can do that too’. She climbed up on the rungs, she swung her little body to the first bar and one by one she got across. Off to the side you can see their Dad, his attention has been heightened, watching very closely. Now the youngest girl, feeling some sibling pressure no doubt, said, ‘I can do that too’. She climbs up on the rungs, jumps on the first bar and after a second or two she screams, “Daddy, Daddy!!! _ _ _.


As a youngster, do you remember playing on the monkey bars? Yeah, that was the moment of truth wasn’t it? When you jumped on for the very first time and your arms were burning, and it was such a long way down. It could even be that you watched your own kids doing the same thing. Well, her dad saw her dilemma and ran over and helped her down. You continue to watch as her tears start rolling down her face as she sobs, “I can’t do it Daddy, I can’t.”


You hear her father softly encouraging her not to give up and then, as you watch she is back on the bars, you see him bend down low underneath her. She places her knees on his back and gradually made her way across. They do this several times each time her father got down lower and lower until eventually she mastered the task all by herself.



Well, isn’t life just like those monkey bars? We live a fast-paced life balancing family, work and lifestyle. Wait, there was something else, now, what was it? Oh yes, I left out God. We should have put Him first on the list, shouldn’t we? I confess that I have sometimes found it hard in the past, when the pressures of life seem to be overwhelming, to get my priorities in the correct order. But, when there is something that we want to accomplish and it’s just outside our grasp, it requires us to take a jump off the step we are on at that time, to take a risk, a leap of faith to reach out for that first rung. What is it that causes us to hesitate and maybe sometimes even to decide against making that move? Is it because we think we are alone and taking that risk will leave us hanging on that first rung, exposed, venerable?


We should look at what can we learn from scripture? There is a pattern throughout the history of the Bible that we can learn from. For instance, as we look at the Old Testament, the Hebrews usually went their own way. They went stumbling along through life making all the mistakes under the sun. Then they’d hear from the prophets, realise their mistake and change their ways. . . they were like a YO YO following God  – – first doing all the right things then straying off into the depths of sin once again. Up!  Down!! Up!  Down!!



This is evidenced when we look at the Old Testament as the Hebrews begin their journey into the desert. They had just experienced a miraculous escape from 400 years of slavery, then Moses received the Commandments (Exodus 24:12) and, while he was absent, they disobeyed by making and worshiping an idol (Exodus 32:1-7). Then later they chose not to enter into the promised land out of fear and unbelief (Numbers 13 & 14). Yet God in His mercy led them through difficult times showing them the way by His Spirit with a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day (Exodus 13:21-22). He did not desert them. Then of course there is the ultimate rejection, that of Jesus at the cross. Jesus told His disciples that He would ask the Father to send a Helper, the Holy Spirit to be their comforter so they would not be alone (John 16:7).

We are not alone today. The Holy Spirit is here with us even as we read this. See in the book of John 14:17-20 where it says

17 The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

Be encouraged as we travel through life and especially in these difficult times that just like that little girl as she struggled to get across those monkey bars, we have a Father who will never forsake us, who has sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper carrying us through the rough patches in our lives. We just have to ask Him for help. We are never alone.


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