Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2Cor 3:17 NIV
As a committed rock climber I enjoy keeping up with the news and trends of the climbing community. One such trend that is alarming to me is the practice of free-soloing where a climber scales a cliff without a rope or any other safety gear. Many climbers see free-soloing as an incredibly rewarding experience that is the purest expression of the sport. I disagree. No matter how you feel about free-soloing, one thing is clear, falling is not an option; the consequences are almost certain death.
Several years ago, a veteran free-soloist by the name of John Bachar tragically fell to his death while climbing at a crag five minutes from his house. He was found at the base of an easy climb he had soloed dozens if not hundreds of times. Did a hold break? Did he have a momentary lapse of concentration? Did he black out? No one knows because no one was there.
As a climber I am so thankful for the presence of a rope and belayer. When I tie in, I always feel a sense of security, knowing I don’t have to climb perfectly; if I fall the rope will catch me. Our spiritual journey is much like climbing. All of us make mistakes, and have failures. We all fall from time to time, no matter how experienced we are, or how hard we try.
I have talked to so many people who are not yet followers of Christ who express a fear of losing their freedom. “If I decided to follow Jesus, I would have to give up….”, they often say. There is this impression that serving Christ is somehow boring and burdensome and takes away freedom and fun. The exact opposite is true. When we are tied in to Christ and living in the Spirit we experience absolute freedom. We are no longer in bondage to sin and the whims of our flesh. We are free to climb high and risk big with no fear of failure, knowing that we are secure in the hands of our Father.
Jason Graves the author of AnchoredMan says it best: “Have you ever watched a spectacular sunset while perched on an eighteen inch ledge, hundreds of feet up the side of a granite wall? It is breathtaking. Have you ever run back and forth across a vertical cliff, like the pendulum from a thousand-foot- high grandfather clock? It feels exhilarating, terrifying, and freeing, all at the same time! Staying tied in to God doesn’t mean being tied down. On the contrary, being anchored to God almost guarantees that your life is going to be an adventure.”
May you daily experience the true freedom and exhilaration that only comes from being securely tied in to Christ.
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