My good friend Jake knows that the worst moment for me rock climbing is the rappel down. He knows I turn in to a whimpering baby when faced with inching out to the edge of the precipice and resting into the rope. He always set up our climbs so the first thing I had to do was rappel.
So, there I was not too long ago. Playing out my ritual of hugging rock, clinging to the edge, breaking into a sweat trying to take deep breaths and be calm, looking desperately for a way down that would allow me to hold on to control a little bit longer. My hands sweat just thinking about it.
Eventually, the moment came where I eased into the rope, transferring the weight from my control. And, with each step down the side of the rock, my confidence grew, the calm became real. The beauty of the setting became more apparent.
A few minutes later, I was back on the rock, only going up this time. The climb was pretty interesting. A few little surprises, a couple of cool moves. A Holiday Inn ledge halfway up.
But then it was time to release the rock and let Jake lower me down. Another moment to release control. Give up the security of my hold to the insecurity of a rope. Let go of control and place my life in the hands of a friend to hold the rope and lower me down safely to terra firma.
Trusting the rope holder. How thankful I am to have a friend to hold the rope. How thankful I am that we are designed to connect and hold the rope for one another. To live in fellowship, in community. Not in isolation.
Whose rope are you holding today? Who is holding your rope?