Sunday, May 26 2024 - 12:16 AM
symbol of man climbing ladder
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Safety Chain

I gulped as I peered towards my colleagues, who were both standing on the scaffold platform that loomed 35 feet in the air. They were casually talking about the work that needed to be accomplished. Meanwhile, I was wondering how anyone could climb that high and speak in such a nonchalant manner.

There are several things that I am not afraid of—but climbing up high isn’t on that list. I’ve suffered from acrophobia ever since I can remember. Whenever I’ve attempted to scale tall ladders or walk on a roof, I’m reminded that I would always rather feel safe and have both of my feet firmly planted on solid ground.

As a child, I attempted to climb a fire tower near our home. The shiny silver tower sat on a hill, and I had heard that once I made my way to the little room at the top, the view would be amazing. I did make it to the tiny ranger station at the top of the tower. But then I spent a great deal of time trying to work up the courage to climb back down. It’s just not my thing, and anytime I’ve attempted it, my head begins to swirl.

True Safety

Recently, my colleagues had to erect some scaffolding so that they could do an electrical installation on the ceiling of a gymnasium. There were four of us present, and I opted to be the man on the ground who handed parts of the scaffold up to those already in the air. As they reached the desired height and I reached for the final rails, I saw something that made me laugh out loud. A sticker on the final rail announced the following: “Make Sure Safety Chain Is Secure!”

I looked at the “safety chain” and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a small bit of linkage that draped across the opening between the rails. If there were ever an exaggeration of an item’s usefulness, this would have to be it. As I looked up at my friends, I wondered how this “safety” chain would help anyone standing so far above the floor. One of my colleagues admitted that he had always asked himself the same question. We agreed that perhaps it was there to make someone feel safe.

Mindsets and Good Behavior

After this encounter, I began thinking of all the “safety chain” mindsets that might cause me to feel secure, but in reality, they really don’t bring security at all. One of the most deceitful has been the idea that good behavior merits anything on an eternal scale. Good behavior is wonderful, but it should never be accepted as a place of safety for me to put my trust in. My “safety chain” is tied completely to my Creator’s abilities, not mine. He has already provided a way for me to taste forever—and I can’t improve on that.

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Michael Temple writes from North Dakota.

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About Michael Temple

Michael Temple

writes from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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