The Church just came out with a major statement yesterday that I’m not sure I agree with. As a matter of fact, it is said to be revelation and it goes against everything that my Scriptures teach. Even though revelation by the Prophet is taken as God’s Word, I have to examine my own experience with revelation for a moment in conjunction with what I believe, what I understand, what I’ve experienced, what I feel in my gut, and what I’ve been taught.
Now, at the expense of losing you over this religious talk, I’m not going to get into a religious rut with any of this. I’m going to give you a model to follow for evaluating and solving problems within your own mind and heart. Climbers run into these situations all the time, even though they may not be religious in nature, but may have to do with something such as a personality conflict or differing opinions about gear. So let’s analyze this, shall we?
So let’s say the Climbing Gods give revelation to the Climbing Prophet that La Sportiva TC Pros (a proven classic trad climbing shoe) are the best bouldering shoe around and should be used for all bouldering equally with, and possibly replacing, the La Sportiva Solutions (a proven classic bouldering and sport-climbing shoe). Now, first, we hear the news, right? The first thing that happens is that the gut feeling forms. Good or bad. In this case, my gut feeling would be bad. TC Pros are a trad shoe, not a bouldering shoe, even though they can be used for that and some people do (without much success). The Solutions are clearly the better bouldering shoe, and quite a good classic bouldering shoe that works well in my own personal experience. So the gut feeling and my personal experience are making me doubt what the Climbing Prophet is saying that the Climbing Gods told him at this point. The doubt becomes even more serious when I look at the Climbing Literature, YouTube video reviews, and what I’ve learned about climbing shoes because I’ve been especially diligent about learning about climbing shoe characteristics and what makes them work (or not).
Now I decide to have a climbing buddy of mine review what the Climbing Prophet said and see what he thinks in order to check my interpretation of the spirit and intent of this revelation. My climbing buddy gets back to me and says he thinks it’s an attempt to embrace TC Pro wearers and include them more in the bouldering community, but that it doesn’t change the fact that Solutions are the bouldering shoe of choice. That alleviates the pressure on my brain for a short time, but there’s still just something wrong with that answer. It’s a feel-good answer. It’s watering down what the Climbing Gods themselves taught and intended, and it’s a slippery slope! Pretty soon, climbers will want to buy the rental shoes because they think the grey rubber has some awesome sticking power to it!
So, I sleep on it. But I can’t sleep. It gets late. I’m reviewing my Climbing Literature by torch in the bedroom as my non-climbing spouse snores next to me. I just can’t figure out why a revelation like that would come to the Climbing Prophet… Is this revelation even from the Climbing Gods? Or is it from the Darkness that would have us live as hermits in basements and never go out and climb and enjoy nature and sunlight? I finally fall asleep.
I wake early to my alarm, get up very groggy, and decide to write out in my journal what the logical arguments for and against this revelation are. I come up with serious doubt about the revelation from the Climbing Prophet and decide that I will hope that they address the issue tomorrow or the next day at Climbing Conference, which is broadcast worldwide. Surely they will say something about this to the Climbers, won’t they? In the meantime, I hold tight to my Climbing Literature and what the Climbing Gods have said, palms sweating all the while and my eyes watching the rocks…