As soon as I launched into the air, I knew I was in trouble. The mountain bike I was riding was gliding off the trail toward the trees. I had hit the jump at a bad angle, and, now that I was in the air, there wasn’t much I could do about it.
Instinctually, I turned the handlebars back toward the trail, but, of course, this didn’t work because I was in the air. The result instead was that, when the front tire finally contacted the ground, it buckled, and I flew over the handlebars.
I landed on my right side and my head smashed violently against the hard-packed trail. I braced myself for a surge of pain, but it never came. A second later, I remembered that I was wearing a helmet, and I’ve never been more grateful. I was back on my feet within seconds, but, without that head protection, I may have been on my way to the ER.
The Bible compares salvation to a helmet in at least three different passages. Now I understand why.
In this adventure of life, we are bound to have some falls. One minute we’re cruising along with the Lord, and before we know what’s happened, we find ourselves face down in failure. But our salvation is not based on how well we navigate this life. It is given to us as a free gift. Even when we fall, it remains secure, protecting us and enabling us to get going again.
Here at South Mountain, we encounter campers all the time who know about Jesus, but are under the impression that salvation is earned through good behavior. They are often struggling with feelings of guilt and unworthiness.
At camp, they experience the tangible love of God and learn that salvation comes by grace through faith. When they head back home at the end of the camp week, they know that failure may come, but the salvation of the Lord enables them to get back up and keep moving forward with God.