The Tether

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT)

In my life, I’ve enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, and rock climbing. They are some of the best ways to experience the nature which God has given us. It’s also one of the best ways to get a birds-eye view of the world. However, there is one type of climbing that I have not done yet – ice climbing.

The sport of ice climbing involves going up vertical sheets of ice in order to make it to the top of a snow-covered mountain. Of course, ice climbing requires special equipment such as cramp-ons (basically, metal cleats for the bottom of your boots), an ice axe to stick into the ice and pull yourself up, and the basic climbing gear of ropes and harnesses. It is very risky climbing, as one slip and you could fall to your death. So, in order to feel more secure, climbers are tethered together by rope. Essentially, if you fall, your partner’s job is to dig in with his axe and cramp-ons and be the anchor for you. This, of course, is a big responsibility, because the person being the anchor not only has to carry his own weight, but that of his falling partner. You pray that your axe, cramp-ons, and grip hold strong enough to support the both of you. In other words, your partner is entrusting their life to you.

God gives us friends, good people, to help catch us when we fall. As King Solomon put it, “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.” Our job as friends is to help one another, to be an anchor in times of difficulty.

However, there are many stories of ice climbers that have died because they chose to climb alone. There was no one to catch them when they fell. No anchor. No tether. They shunned the assistance of another and went at it alone. King Solomon points out the issue with this when he wrote, “But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

God calls us to be in community with each other. Being a Christian isn’t a solo adventure. We are part of a family, the church, whose members are there to support one another. We’re all in this together! So, tether yourself to one another. Be an anchor for others, and trust in godly friends to help you when you fall.

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