Why I Climb

Years ago my kids were involved with a rock climbing club.  One of the instructors had been an accomplished climber. He had fallen from a cliff about a year before we met him, breaking his neck.  He spent eight months in the hospital, and was mostly paralyzed from the waist down.

He would sit on the ground and belay for the kids as they learned to climb the rock wall – scooting along on his rear around the room from one challenge to another. Every week he would ask if I wanted to climb and I always said no.

Then one night we walked in, and there he was about halfway up the wall. Using his incredible upper body strength, limited control of his thigh muscles, and sheer determination – he found deep with himself the courage to climb again.

“You’re next.” He said looking down on me from the top of the rock wall.

This man had managed to fight his way through his fear, shock, and trauma. He had fought for his life as much as he had fought for his passion. He had pulled himself out of the pain and depression of his injuries and was creating a new life that included the sport he loved so much – that nearly dying was not enough to stop him.

If he could climb a wall, so could I.

And I did.

Whenever I’m faced with something scary, I remember that wall.  Whatever it is I’m supposed to climb over next – as hard as it is to leave my cozy comfort zone – I’ll do it.

God Himself wants us to face every challenge head on and promises He will see us through. He says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

“Belay on!”


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