I recently joined a rock gym. I’ll admit I’m not very good at climbing yet, but I’m really enjoying myself. See, I know the importance of a rigorous workout a few times a week, yet aimlessly running 2 miles on a chunk of metal and plastic sounds painstakingly boring.
Climbing, on the other hand, is as much a physical workout as it is mental exercise. When climbing routes (using only certain places on the wall, marked in a certain color), you’re constantly solving a puzzle. Where should I put my left foot? Once I do that, can I reach that next one with my right hand? Maybe that sounds easy – but remember you’re also dangling from a rope, 45 feet in the air.
I’m not particularly afraid of heights. But the anxiety that does ensue comes from the other end of that little rope. Usually, my husband is belaying while I climb (and I belay for him). If I ever were to let go of the wall, his tension on the rope would prevent me from crashing to my death. And the only thing that prevents me from locking up halfway through the route is the trust that someone else has my life in their hands.
I had better stop before my mom calls me in a panic, but yes, there is a certain amount of danger in climbing. And trust is a crucial part of the life-saving gear you’re strapped into. Before taking one foot off the ground, you have to acknowledge that you are not in this alone – you can’t possibly do this without help.
There are so many times in life when we are climbing a wall (social ladder, pay scale), and we get cocky. We race up that wall thinking we’re alone. And there are so many times in life when we think we can reach that foothold (promotion, goal), but when we try we fail. And its in those moments that we remember: we aren’t alone. We never climb (live, love) alone. At the other end of the rope is a God that won’t let us fall.
If only trusting God was as easy as trusting our belay partner (coworker, spouse), eh? It can be. Remember – no matter how high you climb, no matter how steep or distorted your wall – Christ is with you. Fear shouldn’t prevent you from living life to it’s fullest.
So, are you ready to start climbing? On belay!