Sitting on Pelican Lake, this Bible camp is a place where many young people have come to grow in their faith, meet new friends, praise God around the campfire, play in the lake and the woods and have an “Adventure Anchored in Christ” (the camp’s tagline).
At Metigoshe, you can take part in a premier high ropes course that includes almost 20 different climbing elements and a zip line that is more than 300 feet long. On that course, called Higher than the Mountains and based on Psalm 25:1-9, groups challenge themselves, rely on each other and grow together.
When you’re 35 feet in the air, you feel like you are higher than the mountains–the Turtle Mountains near Bottineau, N.D., that is.
High ropes facilitators
This spring, my youngest daughter, Brooke, and I trained to be facilitators at Metigoshe’s high ropes course. The 32-hour, three-day training required us to spend a lot of time on top of a 35-foot pole.
Trainers taught us how to use cable grabs and lobster claws, climbing ropes and harnesses, carabiners and pulleys, among many other tools. They trained us how to belay a climber, to encourage them and reassure them that if they slipped, we had them.
It was three days of bonding and team building. It was also three days of breathing in nature and soaking up the beauty of the great outdoors. Going higher and being able to see that you are getting closer to the top of the pole is energizing, and once I was at the top, I sensed the presence of God and felt humbled and holy.
Over the course of this training I couldn’t help but compare God’s love for us to the staples and foot holds on each pole. They were there, and they were solid.
Following God’s direction
Over the course of this training I couldn’t help but compare God’s love for us to the staples and foot holds on each pole. They were there, and they were solid. I knew they wouldn’t fail.
Moving at God’s pace and following God’s direction with firm foundations allowed me to get closer and closer to the top. Having faith in that foundation gave me comfort, and the harness that surrounded my body felt like Gods arms holding on.
I’m not going to lie. At times I had a tough time finding that foothold, and I wondered if the lobster claws would hold my weight. It took a lot of courage to let go and rely on the equipment to keep me safe. But once I did, I had an indescribable feeling of security and weightlessness.
God had me! I was safe.
This experience was by far one of the most challenging things I’ve done. But life can be challenging. How comforting it is to know that God’s love for me is “higher than the mountains and deeper than the sea” as Krista Wiger’s song says.
I know that always and forever, God has me!
Lisa Plorin of Upham, N.D., is president of the Women of the ELCA’s executive board. Photos of the high ropes course by and of Lisa Plorin