At the Precipice

At the Precipice

Today, my brother and his wife celebrate ten years of marriage.  A whole decade of matrimony coupled with another decade or so of living life together having been together since they were barely teenagers.  To celebrate their anniversary, they recently took a trip to Utah to do some hiking and exploring and adventuring.  The photos from their trip were breathtaking.  Steep mountains and canyons bursting with color, rippling creeks and passageways, wildlife and sprouts of greenery along the trails like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  

My dear sister in law took a video of my brother hiking one particular trail.  Like an excited labrador, he nearly galloped to the edge of a cliff.  As he drew closer to the edge, my heart pounded in my chest.  I could feel my nervousness rising as he went nearer and nearer.  I was merely watching, but as he climbed, so did my anxiety.  And then he reached the precipice.  He stood, toes on the edge of the cliff as the camera panned the views before him.  My breath caught for a different reason as I took in all that was in front of him.  It was stunning.  

I have often thought about wanting to take a trip to Utah.  I’ve seen lots of pictures, and the landscape is majestic.  But as I watched the video, as I looked through the pictures, I was struck with a sudden awareness. I’m not sure I’d be willing. 

They carried heavy backpacks. 

They were equipped with impressive hiking gear. 

They wore boots not designed for fashion. 

They were bundled against the elements.

They were stripped down in the heat. 

They held a chain fixed to the cliff as their lifeline. 

They walked on footholds much too tiny. 

All of this to reach the precipice. 

And as I watched their adventure, I almost laughed when I thought, “Um, no thanks!” But then, the moment grew serious. You see, so many of us want the views. We want the adventure. We want to take in the stunning world before us knowing we’ve climbed the metaphorical mountain– we have arrived! 

But we aren’t willing to carry the weight of the journey. 

We don’t want to take the time to invest in the tools we need. 

We refuse to get uncomfortable in our current circumstances. 

We can’t let go of the control we must feel in our day to day walk. 

And unless there is a wide, bright, shiny, open path before us, we don’t move. 

It’s time to move. It’s time to climb. It’s time to reach the precipice. 

There is so much beauty that awaits. There is so much adventure to be had. There is so much the world needs to witness in our journey. But we must be willing to endure the climb. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Know that the reward will most likely outweigh the risk, if you simply go after it.  

Do you want to know why I believe we often don’t move?  We can’t see.  My brother climbed the mountain without knowing exactly the view he’d have when he got to the top.  He simply believed it would be worth it.  And he got there by putting it all out on the line.  There was nothing to catch him at the edge.  No safety net, no backup plan.  Just faith in the reward when he got there.  Just a belief that he was ready to climb.      

We live in a world where we make moves based on a guarantee.  But the best views, the journeys worth taking, the grandest adventures… those happen when we just move even when we can’t see.  They are found on the riskiest of climbs.  Let’s get going, friend.  On to the precipice!   

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