Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living Blind

We took a trip to an amazing family-style dude ranch in Colorado.  They had a new feature this year: a rock climbing wall/ zip line combo.
Can I just say I could not WAIT to try it?!
The first time up I was shaking and halfway up thought I probably wouldn't make it. But waiting for me at the top was a zip line - and there was no other way to partake of that amazingness. :) so I kept going. Once I got to the top I was exhilarated. And the zip line did not disappoint. It was like flying -
With a sudden punch at the end as the rope hit the end of the line. 
Well, once was not enough. I probably went back 4 times that day: racing children much smaller than me, and looking super-cool in the required helmet. 
As the time was ending, I looked at the staff and asked "So what are some of the ways you have seen people make this more challenging?" They proceeded to talk about the different sides of the wall that vary in difficulty and trying to use only certain colored rocks. Then one of them looked at me and said, "You could always try it blindfolded."  So very matter-of-factly. 
Me: "Have you seen someone do this?" 
Him: "nope. But we have bandanas over there...."
And the next thing he knew I was tying one over my eyes, pulling it down so I couldn't peek even if/when I wanted too. 
I have to say I didn't even hesitate. I don't know why but I knew this was something super important for me to do. 
I attached myself to the first rocks I could find and began reaching and stretching for the next grip. Whichever hand had the best grip stayed put while the other groped wildly for a secure place. My feet fumbled and knees lifted higher than I thought possible to secure my next step. The girl on belay below me tried to call out hints but it was like I couldn't even hear her. 
I don't know how long it took me. I just know that I felt the top of the wall and almost started crying. I did it. I climbed a wall- blindfolded. 
I thought about my feat for days afterward. 
I realized that climbing without seeing was almost easier than using my eyes. My brain couldn't tell me "That rock is too small! It will never support you! You don't have the grip strength to hold on!"
If I found a rock- I just grabbed it. And held on. I had to. I was not aware of other options. 
On the spiritual side, I realized how similar that experience had been to my life lately. I feel blindfolded. I can only see a day at a time. And when one of your senses is compromised, others take over. But because of that, my sense of hearing has compensated and I can hear The Lord and His voice of love so clearly. Looking at the wall in front of me is too daunting. But listening to His voice and the directions He gives me for each day have been worth the blindness. 
Oh, and they let me keep the bandana :)

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