I've stumbled upon a new hobby...It started with a fascination for heights as a young boy. I always made my mom nervous when Christmas rolled around because of my aggressive nature in hanging up Christmas lights on our steeply pitched roof. I liked the adrenaline rush that resulted from sprinting up a roof that I probably should not have been on in the first place. Not only did my mom endure the stress of having her son bounce around on the dangerous roof, but she also endured the ugly site of what the Christmas lights looked like after I had finished. Bless her.
From the day I first moved to Colorado nearly six years ago, I told myself that I would eventually learn how to rock climb. I had been on countless family walks at Garden of the Gods where I witnessed one climber after another scale the daunting mass of rock walls. The itch to climb only grew stronger.
Then, a few weeks ago, a friend invited me to come climb at an indoor climbing gym. I thought it would be easy. After all, I have done thousands of pull ups during my wrestling career. How hard could it be to grab a rock and pull yourself up? I was wrong. And I was suprisingly nervous halfway up my first climb.
As I approached the top of the 80 foot wall, I began wondering if my harness was tight enough. For a man who enjoys heights, it was a strange feeling to be wrestling with fear at an indoor climbing gym. I eventually made it up the rest of the wall, and despite my sweaty palms and tired forearms, a love affair with climbing was starting to form in this heart of mine.
I did my first outdoor climb today at Garden of the Gods. It was amazing. I still wrestled some nerves while I was 110 feet above planet earth, but it's good for a man's soul to be challenged like that. Experienced climbers would probably smile as they understand I wasn't in grave danger, but this Kansas boy isn't used to this...We didn't go rock climbing for entertainment in Kansas; we went cow tipping. We didn't rapel; we played ding-dong-ditch em'. Despite the raw appearance of watching me scurry up the wall, I'm confident I will eventually become a decent climber.
I sat down at the end of the day, and I thanked God for allowing me to experience the thrill of rock climbing. I sensed the Father's delight. I realized that I didn't have to twist his arm to let me climb; instead, he was the one beckoning me. He spoke a sentence to my heart that reminded me of why I have a love affair with the God who created all this:
"I'll meet you on the rock. I have much to show you there."