Letting Go of the E-Brake
You’ve arrived at the peak of the roller coaster (sitting front row of course) waiting for the exhilarating rush of unknowingness to come. You have two options: you can either pull the e-brake and play it safe, or you can let go and let God. I heard this analogy from a speaker at Orchard Hill awhile ago and have now made more of an effort to build it into my life. After church, I did some thinking and this is how I interpreted each option…
Option one: pulling the e-brake. Usually, when you get to the top of the hill you don’t know what’s going to happen next; it feels scary and intimidating. This is typically where I start to overthink everything that’s ever happened to me in my entire existence. You don’t know the outcome so you make one up (usually the worst-case scenario, of course) and do everything you can to keep yourself from flying down the hill. Instead of enjoying the ride, you pull the e-brake as fast as possible to stay in control. You slowly coast through certain situations in life to protect yourself from the unknown. If you’re anything like me, you are now in a mindset of "what if" or "what could have been." Most of us prefer to know what the outcome will be before we jump and make a decision (which is the exact reason why I am the most indecisive human ever).
Option two: letting go and letting God. When you get to the top of the hill instead of thinking of every safety mechanism ever invented to protect yourself, you just go. You face things as they come and give God and the universe more control over the direction of your roller coaster. There will still be feelings of fear and uncertainty (you can’t just delete those), but there won’t be a need for an e-brake anymore. You’ll just jump; go straight down the hill with full confidence that God will lead you where He wants you to go.
During my freshman year of college, I really began to struggle with trusting God and living in the present. The unknown future consumed me and led to a long period of unhappiness. Moving away from home, meeting new people, and no longer being confident in areas of my life that used to bring me satisfaction drove me into a mindset of “if this happens, only then will I be happy.” I failed to understand that my life was not on my time, but on His time. After spending months feeling like this, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I fought the idea of seeing a counselor or taking medication because I believed I shouldn’t need them to help me be happy. Being at this point in my life made me realize that God has been trying to connect with me but I never took a second to listen. I would constantly live in my comfort zone to ensure I was in control of my feelings… until I wasn’t. I spent nights writing to God, praying, and relating messages at church to my life. I was so consumed by the little things in my future that didn’t even exist yet (or maybe ever). Only because of my low point was I able to grow a deeper, comforting relationship with Him.
I know I’m not alone when I talk about struggling with putting trust in God. Some days are harder than others. There may be more screaming and your hands will be gripped tighter to the safety bar (mine would be for sure), but I hope you look back and pick option two. I hope you just go for it without thinking twice about other people’s opinions. Here’s the thing: if you don’t try you won’t know, if you don’t ask the answer is no, and if you don’t jump you’ll forever be stuck in one place. If it’s right, it will happen. What belongs to you will not get away, so go see what it’s like to remove the e-brake.
Let God push you down the hill because you’ll figure it out, you always do.
Wartburg College Senior
Teacher in training, Aspiring author, & Firm believer that ranch tastes good on almost anything
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