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The alarm went off at 5:00am. It was a special day; my son had asked me to go rock climbing in the Witchita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma… (See part one for the full story)

Before I knew it I was “on the wall,” making my first ever climb. Did I learn from this trip? Well actually I learned many things and experienced a lot of different thoughts and emotions, many of which I do not have time to voice in this article. However the following is a continuation of the things that stood out to me on this momentous day:

1. We all need someone who will belay us. (Secure the rope from below)

I have to admit that it was very comforting to know that my experienced son was at the bottom of the mountain, holding the rope! We need people in our lives that can hold the rope for us!

So what does the metaphor of “holding the rope” mean? It means offering meaningful support, help, encouragement and accountability. Something we all need in times of transition and change.

Not only that, he taught me to hold the rope for him. Before the day was out, I was belaying him down the side of a one hundred foot route. (My brave son) Do you have a rope holder? Are you holding anyone’s rope?

2. We need to be surrounded by witnesses

I was a little shocked at the camaraderie that was displayed by the rock climbers present at the slopes that day. It was like they all knew each other. (Really they didn’t!) They were cordial, complementary and easy to talk to.

Interestingly enough, at one point I got stuck on the side of the cliff about 70 feet in the air. In my mind I had run out of options as I surveyed the smooth granite cliff. Much to my surprise, one of them whom had what I thought to be a casual observer donned his climbing gear and climbed up next to me on the cliff. and He gently gave me a few pointers and stayed right there with me until I reached the summit. Wow! They also had brought my camera and climbed up above me and took my picture. How neat!

We need comrades as we walk through this life with God. Witness if you will that will offer support, encourage and accountability.

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