“My Church is in the mountains,
My Church is in the hills.
My Church is in the Mountains,
Across the Angry Hills.”
The name for this set of 4/4 chanted verse is “God Made Me A Climber”, which immediately followed my waking from nightmares this morning at 0300 hrs and continued in my mind for a good 10-15 minutes. It was a great comfort to know that climbing and church are not in opposition in my life, but instead are both given to me by God. I was having quite a running commentary of conflict underlying my thoughts all day yesterday because church is at the same time that I climb, and if I don’t climb at that time of the morning, I’m very unlikely to climb at any other time on a Sunday and will most certainly not climb at all. It’s good to know that God understands. After all, it was He who gave me this gift of climbing, and I must never disregard or disrespect that.
Climbing has really saved my life. I was suicidal for 15 years straight, and it’s amazing that I’m alive! Climbing calms me, soothes me, and gives me a sense of relief and peace when I’m moving across the rock, focusing on the next hold, and the entirety of my being is part of that stone. Plastic in the climbing gym isn’t quite the same, but it comes close enough to fulfill the need I have to climb. It is a need, too. For me, it’s not just a hobby or something to do when I’m bored. Climbing is a need, and by extension, the specific form of worship that God gave me. I see and touch and feel and become part of His Creation when I’m climbing. I talk to Him before, during, and after a climb, each climb. I talk to God while I’m climbing. It’s not a panic or a fear – far from it. It is a thankfulness and a deep gratitude and a blessing and a prayer that I may be able to continue to climb and commune with Him through climbing for many long years to come in this mortal body in this mortal plane. Climbing has been a revival of my Spirit since the first day I did it, on 30 April 2016. When I don’t climb, I’m miserable.
I don’t know if this means I’ll be able to climb at other times on Sunday so that I can go to church, or if I’ll climb during the church service and commune with God that way on Sundays, but it comes down to being in contact with the Author of this great gift of climbing for me. That’s the point. The point is that I use and partake of the gift of climbing that God gave me to save my life. Obviously, I’m not talking about the Atonement, here, but a form of Redemption can be found in climbing – a constant reminder of it, in fact! We get so caught up in the details and rules of the thing that we miss the point entirely. Worship God! Accept and use and be grateful for His gifts to you, which He has given to you so that you may draw closer to Him! Make them a form of worship unto God! Have joy in your heart and share it! And never forget that you have been blessed!!!