Gravity - not the mountain - is the climber’s opponent. The never sleeping constant that refuses to allow the climber a single inch of effortless progress. It never tires. It never rests. It never quits.
And yet, climbers return to the mountain.
But why? The view? The challenge? The thin mountain air?
My theory is this: Climbers climb.
It is their irreducible minimum - if you don’t climb, you are not a climber. Climbers climb.
It is their constant. It is their identity. It is not the height of their climb, nor the length, nor the difficulty that makes them climbers. It is the factthat they climb, that makes them climbers.
Now, the other constant: Gravity.
Gravity is the opponent. Not Failure - it is a teacher. Not Limits - they are boundaries, daring us to break them. Not Pain - it is a harsh, but honest friend, another teacher... reminding us we are mortal.
But Gravity… Gravity is the opponent.
And though it does not sleep, or tire, or quit... it is in fact powerless.
Here’s why: it can slow the climber. It can exhaust the climber. It can even pull the climber off the mountain, laying her out flat on her back, wounded, broken and begging for breath.
But only the climber can decide to stop climbing. Only the climber can walk away. Only the climber can decide, “I no longer climb."
Only the climber, not Gravity, can forfeit his Identity.
And, Gravity reminds us that we are climbing. When we feel It's pull, we know we are headed upward. Please believe me.
The noise in your head...the self-created voices of your silent critics...the social or professional backlash of your brave stand...the circumstantial repercussions of your faithful walk... the fear that wakes you...the worries that won't let you sleep... that which pulls on you relentlessly.... Is your reminder: You are climbing.
Gravity goes down. Climbers go up. They will always exist in opposition.
And as your desire to climb grows, so does the pull of Gravity.
Don't believe me?... ask The Climbers.
And now, as we face the Gravity of our day, the Gravity of our calling, and the Gravity of our Identity... As we face the climb ahead... a blessing:
May we link arms today as we move into the fray, into confusion, into the feelings of insecurity, out of mediocrity, out of ineffectiveness, away from wasted time, wasted talent, wasted resources. Through the sickness, through the weakness, through the depression and pain. Past the chains of bitterness and hatred that tether us to the ground. Shaking off the habits that own us, the hang ups that haunt us, the heartache that holds us captive. Away from the doubt that leaves eyes darkened and hearts hardened. And with the Faith that grants us the strength to reach up and take hold of The Hand that reaches down to take hold of ours... pulling us higher.... and higher... And Higher...
This song is for us. Climb on.
On a mission,
PS - Thanks Marc.