Today is my friend Dewayne’s birthday, so I decided to share this blog about his journey today. Happy birthday Dewayne.
It was a weekend in February 2011 when I along with fifteen other men spent three days together for a men’s weekend in the country. This had been a long time dream of mine, and may have been one of the best times I’ve ever spent with a group of men, but I think the greatest thing about this weekend was the transformation I saw in my friend Dewayne Fain.
The camp where we were staying had a ropes course, and Dewayne found himself there looking at a rock climbing wall and wanting to give it a try. He put on his safety harness, hooked up and grabbing the first handhold pulled himself up. At about fifteen feet he began to panic saying he couldn’t do it, and climbed back down.
Disappointed in himself, Dewayne left the ropes course feeling pretty bad about not getting to the top, but told us the next day he was going to tackle the zip line. The zip line platform is situated about forty-five feet in the air suspended on three giant telephone poles.
At breakfast the next morning Dewayne told me about a dream he had while sleeping, and wasn’t sure what it meant. Encouraging him, I said it was God telling him to do the zip line today.
Right after lunch, he headed straight for the ropes course, like a man possessed. Putting on the rigging, he stepped into the line to wait his turn. Since it was a two man zip line, one of the men who had come with us named Terry told Dewayne he would accompany him down the zip line. When it was time, Dewayne grabbed the handholds and began his ascent towards the top.
Making it a little higher than the day before, he began shaking and said, “Guys I just can’t do it, I’m coming back down.” Even though a lot of us were shouting encouragement to him, he climbed down. It was a devastating blow to his ego, and I knew if he didn’t conquer this, there would be powerful ramifications in his life later because of it.
Terry spoke to the young man running the course and asked if he could talk to Dewayne before unhooking him from the safety rope. Talking loud enough for Dewayne to hear, but not those of us nearby, Terry spoke to him for a few minutes.
I’m not sure what Terry said, but after he was finished, Dewayne mounted the pole and like a monkey scampered up to the very top in record time, men shouting encouraging words the whole time. It really was a sight to see.
Zipping down with Terry at his side Dewayne hooped and hollered the entire way thanking Jesus. It was awesome to see too, afterwards he was high-fiving everyone he saw, telling them what he’d done, even men he didn’t know.
He faced down his fear and found out there was courage inside of him he didn’t even realize was there on this day. He came to realize on this trip he did have what it takes.