This last weekend I got back from a climbing trip up to Devil's Lake. It was pretty spectacular. If you don't believe me, there are pictures on facebook to prove how amazing it was. We got to hike and climb. The weather was perfect and the climbing was great.
There were several times when I was climbing that I was began thinking about the concept of trust. The first was when I finished my first climb, probably a 60 or 70 foot route. I got to the top, checked all the gear on the anchor and leaned back into the harness. Now if you have never experienced this sensation it is similar to sitting back into a chair. The harness grabs you around the waist and across your thighs and you sit or lean into it. As the rope tightened and the harness caught, the thought flashed through my mind, "I can't catch myself." If something were to go wrong, I wouldn't be able to catch myself. The rocks were too far away, and I was completely at the mercy of my equipment and the person holding the other end of the rope.
There was a second time I had this thought. I wanted a picture of me from the top of the rampart. So I clipped into the anchor point, leaned over the edge and had Bethany snap a few shots of me. It was completely safe (I was clipped to webbing that can hold thousands of pounds), but the thought crossed my mind, "There is no way I could catch myself if the anchor gave way." It is a sobering thought.
The challenge for me is that I don't live my faith this way. I think the call to Christ is a call to trust him in such a way that we have no second option, we have not way out. We trust Him and Him alone, and if he lets go we have nothing else. Everyone knows what it is to feel something give way under pressure. To grab a tree branch and feel it break as you pull on it or to feel your foot slide as you try to walk up a slippery incline. And yet God has promised that he will not let go of us.
But here comes the tricky part. There are times in our life where it will feel like the anchor breaks. There are times when it will feel like God is asleep at the wheel of eternity. But it is in those times, those times where it feels like we are free falling, those times when it feels like we are no longer connected to the anchor, that he catches us. It is a beautiful and painful mystery.