Finding Thankfulness in Climbing Hard and Loving Harder

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Finding Thankfulness in Climbing Hard and Loving Harder

Postby SRCFCDirector » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:10 am

Finding Thankfulness in Climbing Hard and Loving Harder
by Calvin Landrus, SRCFC Executive Director

Our theme for the year has been “Climb Hard, Love Harder.” The many aspects of this theme were highlighted in a summary article in our newsletter, Vertical Adventure, mailed in September. (View it online at ... ersion.pdf)

In the USA this week, we are celebrating Thanksgiving and many will be sharing what they are thankful for. In that context, I would like to share how I find thankfulness in climbing hard and loving harder.

In the first part of Ephesians chapter 5, Paul shares that loving God harder means that we are always to make the most of every moment. And then in verse 20 of that chapter, he admonishes us upon completion of our efforts to “give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

On the weekends where Solid Rock provides a meal (and sometimes two) for a climbing event and we have an outreach booth, the workload is quite heavy not only from the physical aspect but also spiritually as we press into the lives of climbers. I come home after those weekends totally spent. In those times, the feelings of gratitude that God has allowed us to partner with Him in ministry are overwhelming.

In Colossians 2:7 (NLT), the Apostle Paul writes: “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” When we dive into Jesus, love Him harder, thankfulness to God will spring out of us. Our loving of God creates a climate within us whereby thankfulness naturally flows out and is directed to Him.

I find great privilege in giving thanks to the Lord – God the Father, God the Son – Jesus and God the Holy Spirit! First, for whom He is. Verses like Psalm 136:1 come to mind – “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Then for what He has done – “He gives food to every living thing.” (Psalm 136:25b)

God also takes pleasure in hearing us give Him thanks for the things we experience in His creation. I often give thanks for the numerous Solid Rockers I meet along the way and/or have the privilege of communicating with. One of my greatest joys is being part of community of climbers who love climbing but feel even stronger about climbers coming to Jesus. Be sure and give thanks to God for those that you are in a relationship with.

We climb because it’s so much fun. Have you taken the time to give thanks for being able to try hard in climbing? Last weekend, I thought I had a mini-project, (a project that takes less than five sessions), in the bag but I fell off on some easy moves above the last bolt. Did I give thanks after the fall? I’m not sure I did but I expressed gratefulness that I would be able to get on the project again. My traditional, “Thank-you Jesus!” after a clean ascent of the route didn’t have to wait long as I sent on the next day – after going to church first of course.

Do you have a moment in your 2017 climbing that you are particular thankful for? I definitely do - it was the moment a piece of protection held during the ascent of the Steck-Salathe on the Sentinel in Yosemite with SRCFC Board Member, Jason Graves. (Read my trip report at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1015.) The fall came high on the route near the end of a “5.7” chimney pitch that was mainly easy terrain with a lot of ledges.

Because it wasn’t difficult and we were pressing to get off, I hadn’t placed much protection. The easy climbing suddenly ended when a chockstone forced me out over bulge. I slammed in a cam and then did the “up and down” thing, not wanting to commit to the hard movement. In the middle of that “farting around,” my foot popped and I was suddenly flying through the air. Since I was 120 feet from Jason and out of his view, the rope took forever to become tight. In that moment, I looked up and realized that a single cam was my only hope from the devastating consequences of crashing into the ledges forty feet below. I still get squeamish thinking about it.

I give thanks to God that the piece held! I also give thanks to Him for those who have gone before so I could have that piece of gear and be given the knowledge of how to properly place it. As I think about it there is so much to be thankful for in that moment – the rope, my harness, a great belayer, the crack where the piece went in…the list could go on and on.

In her article called “The Power of Gratitude” on ( ... iving.html), Debbie McDaniel shares seven things that a grateful heart to God can do. One of those is: “It reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider and that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.”

Take a moment to reflect upon your climbing in 2017 and specifically give thanks to God for the climbs, partners, experiences, etc. you have had. Also, think about how you have loved God and others in a way that is “hard.” Give God thanks for the opportunities to serve Him and others!
Add your thanksgivings to God below!
Calvin Landrus
Solid Rock - Climbers for Christ
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Re: Finding Thankfulness in Climbing Hard and Loving Harder

Postby deanolin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:20 pm

I read Calvin's post (this post) at the time he posted it but didn't post a reply. Having re-read this I would like to say that I am so very thankful for the few years that I got to hang out with Calvin, I wish I had many more! I'm thankful for the example he was in my life in living a life of truth and love for others, especially the climbing community. Calvin had his shoes re-soled with the good news of Jesus and it showed in how he ran the race and stayed the course by serving others. I send my shoes to Rock-n-Resole when needing new climbing rubber, and they do an excellent job, but the good news of the gospel is the only sole that gives this life true meaning and true purpose.

I am thankful for the climbing community but even more thankful for the climbers that have placed Jesus as their lead guide/instructor and I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to seek His beta for today and each day - resulting in the promotion of His guide service to everyone encountered by actions first and then by words when asked of "the hope within".

I am thankful for the Creator showing His amazing beauty through nature and thankful that I'm physically able to enjoy the artistry found through the love of climbing!

I'm thankful that I climbed the North Ridge of Mt. Stuart the summer of 2017 and immediately told Calvin because I'm 99.9% sure he was inspired to finally climb it himself and he did so 2 weeks later with his son Jaxson. I'm thankful that Calvin emailed me out-of-the-blue the day before I climbed it this year (he didn't know I was heading out to climb it) - especially thankful because 3 days later he got his passport stamped for Eternity in Heaven and it was our last time communicating on this side of heaven.

I'm thankful for all my climbing partners and thankful for Eric, who climbed the Full North Ridge of Stuart with me this August. (pic attached)

I'm thankful for my Sandra, my wife of almost 27 years who puts up with my scrambles!

I am most thankful that God loved me before I knew Him and sent His Son Jesus, who willingly went to the cross and completed the ultimate crux move that I would never be able to pull nor any other human. I am thankful that I have a guide each and every day to give me life-beta by sending the Holy Spirit.
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