Surrender Canyon [post transfer #6]
I'm standing where the road ends and the mists of Surrender Canyon begin. I've been walking on this road for days and months and years. If I turned around, I'd see the smoke and fire from the Devil's Lair, rising like Mount Doom from the horizon. Without turning, I hear the squabbling and squealing of a thousand demons behind me. They fill the air with their putrid breath and poisonous words. Lies drip like bog water from their mouths, and it puddles out from where they cower from the light of the Spirit. As long as I am careful not to cover the light, the demons cannot touch me. Their scrabbling hands claw at my garments but shrink from the light of my guide. The Spirit sits quietly on my shoulder, always ready to answer my questions or offer me verses of comfort.
I look out across the expanse of mists and fog before me, then, timidly, I peer down off the edge of the cliff. To my right and left, the cliff wall extends as far as I can see. Behind me, the road goes all the way back to the Devil's Lair, the prison I've escaped from. When it contains everything I fear the most, I cannot believe that I have actually retraced some of my steps. Somewhere between here and there, lies the Mine of Melancholy. The entrance appears right in the middle of the road and offers you a demon-free rest stop. I took it.
For months I wandered the seemingly endless passageways, refusing to acknowledge that I'd made a mistake, refusing to accept that I was once again lost. Only when I had stumbled down into the darkest corner yet and was huddled in a ball did I whisper my "get out of jail free card" name, the name that breaks walls and ceases storms and lifts you out of dark places. My broken heart whispered, "Jesus." And all the demons screamed and shrank away, because in the presence of Jesus they have no place. The Spirit glowed softly in the darkness and came to rest on my shoulder again; I did not shrug it off this time.
Now, with the light of the Spirit shining around me, the demons furiously shout as loud as they can, anything that might hold me back from surrendering. It seems that they're shouting quite loudly, since I still stand here, unmoving. I don't turn back, but I don't move forward. My knees tremble every so often and one foot might slide a couple of inches toward the empty air in front of me, but I'm not ready to jump. No. Jump? It's crazy! The Spirit nudges me gently, and I kneel and run my fingers in the dirt while my conflicting thoughts rage inside of me. What awaits me down below? Hard ground?
I know better. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that past all of the mist and fog, God is down there and is going to catch me. Melancholy hit me hard, but now I know for certain that jumping off this cliff is going to be the best decision I could ever make. I just haven't made it yet. Haven't I? There are three ways to continue on this road. One: I wander along the edge until I think I find an easy way down, but somewhere along that path I'll slip and tumble down, down, down, in the waiting arms of the demons I've tried so hard to escape from. Two: I could take a leap of faith and fall into the waiting arms of the God who loves me more than I will every understand or return. Three: I could inch myself down, clinging to the Spirit who guides me since I cannot see, blinded as I am by the mist. It's painful and terrifying, but I'm going in the right direction.
Way One is not for me. I've been held captive too many times; I won't go so far back again. I appear to be taking Way Three at the moment, and it's very slow going. My hands and feet must go exactly where the Spirit tells me to put them, else I'll lose my grip and break some bones. Way Two would be the best. If I could just surrender everything, die to self and jump, it'd be baptism through the mist with God at the bottom, ready to take my hand and lead me where I'm next to go.
My stomach scraps along a rock as I fumble for the crevice the Spirit pointed out to me. I could just fall, it'd be so easy. No, it's too hard. I reach for the next handhold and clamp on tightly.