When I was a little girl, summer meant one thing—Slip ’N Slide! The Slip ’N Slide was one of the most magical inventions ever created by mankind. It was a long strip of yellow plastic that you unrolled over your grass. When you connected the garden hose to one end, little fountains would arch across the plastic making a water wonderland. The idea of the Slip ’N Slide was simple. You ran across the grass, launched yourself into the air, hit the plastic, and your momentum would send you sliding through water all the way down the entire length of the slide. Oh, the bliss!!!!
Unfortunately, I had a problem—well, two problems, actually. I was uncoordinated, and I was a chicken.
My siblings were pros when it came to Slip ’N Slide. They would run like the wind, throw themselves into the air, hit the plastic perfectly, and sail beautifully down the slide. I, on the other hand, always looked like a galumphing camel whenever I tried to run. And worse than that, whenever I would reach the plastic I would hesitate, panic about tossing myself into the air, stumble, trip over my toes, fall on my face, and roll inelegantly off the plastic and onto the grass.
Our family owned a Slip ’N Slide for years, and I don’t think I made it perfectly down that slippery, yellow slide even once. I did, however, end up with an extreme aversion to the color yellow. To me, there was something totally insane about barreling at a breakneck speed and flinging myself into the air. Some people can do it, but I just didn’t seem to have the nerve or the knack.
As the years have passed, I’ve begun to realize that there is a correlation between Slip ’N Slides and faith. You see, according to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. In other words, when you have faith, you believe that everything is going to be all right even though you can’t see any evidence proving it.
When I was a child, even though I knew that the Slip ’N Slide wasn’t going to hurt me—I was terrified of embracing the process of flinging myself into the unknown. Today, I find that I sometimes have the same struggle when it comes to faith. My heart believes that God has everything under control, but when I try to relinquish my worries to Him, I tend to balk, hesitate, and then trip over my own toes. In essence, I get in my own way instead of experiencing the freedom of sailing in God’s arms. To me, that’s a problem. A big one.
So what do I do about it? The way I see it, the only thing I can do is come to God in prayer admitting my tendency to worry. I can ask Him to help me with my fear and to increase my faith. After all, Jesus didn’t rebuke the man who came to Him in Mark 9:24. When the man asked Jesus to help his unbelief, Jesus did just that. God is a compassionate Father. He is loving and kind. He knows everything there is to know about us. He sees our struggles and meets us right where we are at. I think there’s something infinitely comforting about that fact. I may never be able to fling myself onto a Slip ’N Slide, but I do think that I can figuratively fling myself into God’s arms and let Him take me sailing.