It is not a new feeling. When I was small I didn’t like going too high, too fast or too deep. I always erred on the safe side. I remember when I was waiting nervously on the edge of an ice rink, my German exchange partner grabbed my hand and tore round the ice with me. Or standing on the deck of a top-heavy boat, futilely trying to fight the way it plunged towards the waves. I was the slowest by far when I went go-karting on the P7 school trip to the Isle of Man.
Now, I’m finding myself in many situations where I am out of control and I still hate it. Last weekend I used a mobility scooter for the first time and it took me a while to go at the staggeringly high top speed of four miles an hour! As is my tendency, I envisaged crashing into a tree or tipping it over. I got better, especially when the paths were wider and flatter.
Every day, many times a day, I get the same feeling I felt standing at the edge of the ice, fighting the waves, driving a go-kart or a scooter: like something bad is going to happen. Recently I have had a few bad falls which have not helped. But on the whole, the things I fear do not materialize.
Are you having to face anything at the moment that you don’t feel you have a handle on? Something you cannot control? I have found in every situation like that I look for a stronger thing or person to hold on to. You see even the snowboarder’s hand is reaching towards the ground and he has a strap to keep him steady. My house is coming down with grab rails now and every time I get out of the car I wait for another arm to lean on. When we feel out of control, reach out for the steadier thing outside of ourselves.
As it says in an old hymn,
‘On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand‘