Spiritual Vitamin Articles
When I was in seminary, some friends and I went hiking outside of Aspen, Colorado, near a beautiful mountain range called the Maroon Bells. We had paused by a mountain lake for some refreshment when I saw this faith story unfold.
A father and his daughter were walking hand-in-hand along the shoreline. The daughter was about ten-years-old. They came to a tree that had broken off at the base and fell, half in and half out of the water. The daughter asked her father if she could walk on the tree trunk out over the water. The father advised her to be careful, and then gave his blessing.
She started out, ever so carefully placing one foot in front of the other until she went out on the branch as far as she dared. Then she turned around and headed back to the shore, toward her waiting father. About halfway back she lost her footing, slipped, and fell; and ended up straddling the tree trunk.
She was more scared than hurt, but her tears were painfully real. The father walked out on the branch, took her hand, lifted her up, and led his daughter back to the shore, where she wrapped her arms around her father's neck and sobbed.
After a while, the girl stopped crying. When she was comforted and composed, the father looked at his little girl and said, "Why don't you try it again." She wasn't at all sure that was a good idea, but with a little parental encouragement, and a lot of child-like trust, she again walked out on the branch. She went out as far as she dared, turned and headed back to shore. You could see the anxiety in her face grow as she approached the spot where she had slipped and fallen. But this time she kept her balance and walked safely past it. The girl almost ran the last few feet along the branch. She leaped into her father's arms and they shared one of the most joyous hugs I have ever witnessed.
They celebrated the girl's victory over fear and tree trunks. And then, hand-in-hand, continued their walk along the shoreline.
In God's way of thinking, the only way to fail ... is to not try. Have some faith; take a risk; try something new. And know your heavenly Father will be there to catch you if you fall ... and celebrate with you with you succeed.