Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thoughts on Climbing

Recently I went to North Conway, NH on an ice climbing trip with some of Bethany's family. It was basically amazing. Besides being bit by the climbing bug pretty bad, bad enough to start a membership at Vertical Endeavors , I saw lessons about life that were rolled into the climbing experience. I want to post a few thoughts about this trip.

Most things in life are deceptively safe. Walking down the street, driving down the road and plugging in a toaster: life is full of danger. Most of these dangers aren't something that we normally recognize.

Standing below the cliff on the second day, I couldn’t believe that we were going to climb to the top. Just the day before, I was so frustrated trying to learn how to use these new tools.  But I had things I could trust to keep me safe.

I trusted my gear. We used climbing ropes both to tie into each other and to tie ourselves to the rock. We trusted our ropes and harnesses to keep us safe. In a way it was comforting to have something to check and re-check.  We also used crampons and ice tools that made it possible climb vertical sheets of ice.

More importantly I trusted my partner. Dan was an experienced climber. He had been traveling to this area for the last 7 years climbing. I knew that when I fell, he would have the end of the rope. I can count on him. When I asked him if he thought I could make this climb, his affirmation gave me courage to face the climb.

When we say we trust God, I think often times we have a disconnect of what that actually means. When I am climbing, trusting my rope means betting my life that it will keep me safe. I want to trust God like that.