I hate elevators. Something about cramming into a small box, watching the doors close in front of you, and just hoping the cable is strong enough to haul you to some floor above you. Every now and then I am rewarded with an extra long pause at the arrival floor before the doors decide to open. After the three seconds it takes for a small amount of panic to set in– the doors open up. I think if I listen really hard I can hear the big box laughing at me.
I was in New York City a couple of years ago for a business conference and had the pleasure of staying right in the middle of Times Square. I checked in at the Marriott Marque and told the front desk, if she couldn’t find my name in the computer, it would be under “the man who has the room with the great view”. (I actually use this line often, and believe it or not, I almost always have an awesome room wherever I go). Laughing a little she goes “Oh yeah…here it is right here! 45th floor. I don’t think you will be disappointed” Thanking her, I grabbed my key and headed around the lobby to the glass elevators that would take me to my home for the next few days on the 45th floor. Now the glass elevator adds an extra element to the whole elevator experience. I actually don’t know what is better- seeing the ground disappear beneath you, or the illusion that you have entered one room, and exited another. I think once it is all said and done, it is a little better to look out at the world as you ascend upwards. At least people can see me up 45 floors as I am stuck screaming for help!
While I was in New York for this trip, I hopped on numerous elevators all over town. I went to the top of the Empire State Building and looked out over the City. I had to get through my fears in order to enjoy the concrete beauty of New York. The irony of it all is that while I was there, a man staying in a hotel 2 blocks away died in an elevator as it was on it’s way up, and it never stopped. It was a blip on the news. My fears were justified. These boxes of death do kill people. Great.
Fears are a crazy thing really. Scientists say humans only have two inherent fears that they are born with. The fear of heights, and the fear of sudden loud sounds. I don’t really buy the first one though. Every time I see a dad toss his child up in the air like a sack of potatoes, the child is laughing. So I really only think loud sudden sounds are about it. My elevator fear is some concocted mind trip that limits my full elevator riding potential.
Isn’t life a little bit like this though? We are all fearful of one thing or another. God asks the world of us. “Get into this elevator my son, I want to lift you to a place you have never been”. How do I know the cable is there? I can’t see it. Oh crap, it is a long way down! Oh Lord, keep me moving. We stopped. The doors are stuck! What am I going to do?! Oh here they go, opening up….Wow! Lord this is amazing! I never knew this was up here! It is about this time He reaches down to us to hold our hand and say “aren’t you glad you got in?” Yes Lord.- I answer.
It is OK to fear things in life, but that fear must feed stronger Faith in each of us. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us “Fear not for I am with you”. We must all let go, to be rewarded with his perfect plan.
So what now? Am I now a guy that walks 45 flights of stairs to my room now? Do I break out in a sweat every time the metal doors open up their jaws of looming terror? Well, not really. I sort of have a breakeven point of 4 floors where I will take the stairs. Anymore than that, and I ride the metal box and pray for the best. Whatever the situation though, I know that I have a God next to me that wants to keep me safe. I never want to limit my own potential with a God who wants me to reach even greater heights both physically and spiritually. So daily I just pray for a little Faith, hopefully those around me are inspired to do the same.