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Dec 29

New Year New Courage

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Synched together with rope I approached the rock.

I called out “On Belay?” I received the reply “Belay On”. I responded “Climbing”. Followed by “Climb On.”

My friend David Villringer learned to rock climb.  David’s courage and determination were both admirable and seemingly unreachable.  Graciously and patiently Dave taught me to climb.

David climbed the Tetons.  I struggled at Devil’s Rock.

I lacked both David’s strength and his will.

I wanted to climb, and I wanted to succeed, but I wanted NOT to get hurt far more.

Discomfort & Disappointment

Rock climbing hurt my fingertips, hurt my hands, strained my muscles, and left me frustrated.  I wanted to succeed.  Unfortunately, I disliked the pain, the hard work, and a feeling of guilt that David — my belayer — was disappointed in me.

David wasn’t disappointed in me, he was teaching me. 
– How to utilize my strength.
– How to minimize my weaknesses.
– How to reach farther than I thought possible.
– How to want more from myself than I thought I could expect.

While I strained against gravity and my girth David taught me how to see the holds.  “Put your foot there.”  “Do you see the ledge? No the one a little higher than that one.”

Belaying helps us to reach farther and succeed by giving us the safety to fail.

David was disciplining me and discipling me.

Discipline A Disciple

We all need belayers in life.  
– Someone to guide us.
– Someone to direct us.  
– Someone to challenge us.  
– Somoene to help us to see what we cannot see.
– Someone to help us to become who we fear we cannot become.

Family members and friends, ministers and therapists, coaches and colleagues, we need someone to help us along our journey.

Whether he ever climbed rock faces or not, the psalmist understood that God was willing to belay him.  “With your help I can advance … I can scale a wall.” [Psalm 18:29, NIV]

It’s a new year.  It’s time for new courage.

Last year’s courage was for last year.  New challenges await.  I pray “On Belay?” God replies “Belay On”. “Climbing?”. “Climb On.”

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