Mountains play an important part in our imagination, and often in our lives. While success can be described as a pinnacle, some try to make it literal. I remember when I was in college how, as a member of the university mountaineering club, we’d go out, rain or shine, summer or winter, to climb some of the highest peaks in the region. In winter it was especially challenging, because the snow and the ice required special gear, including not just rope, but ice axe and crampons as well. I also found it more fun than the rigor demanded of rock climbing because you could usually choose a more open path and you often had more open vistas to savor.
The dangers of slipping down a slope could be real, of course, so we always climbed with a buddy, roped together. We practiced various techniques so if one fell, the other could belay the rope with a quickly anchored axe to stop the fall. Walking along a snow ridge was fun, then leaping off the edge into deep snow to be braked by a quickly belayed rope. The more we did it on easier slopes, the more confidence we had in facing tougher and steeper conditions. We learned how to trust each other. And the practice underscored climbing’s golden rule—we never climbed alone.
In life as well, we never are alone, regardless of how we may actually feel. It’s sometimes said that God looks after fools and drunks, but God looks after you and me well. God is there for each of us, rain or shine, in summer or winter. Are we ready to trust that? Are we ready to trust that we will be belayed if we fall?
Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today: