Clipping onto the rope

In a departure from my normal blog posts, I’m trying something new – but to illustrate a point familiar to many of us.

At church this morning, the pastor, dressed in a down parka and gore-tex pants (knockoffs, but I only know that because he mentioned it), spent some time talking about mountain climbers – and how it relates to the Gospel of John.  I’m no theologian, so I’ll summarize by saying that it was inspiring and very well thought-out.

I’m also not a mountain climber, so I’ll try and pass along the story as best I can.

Climbing Mt. Everest is surprisingly difficult (news to me, too).  The climb itself, to the summit, is only about 3 miles.  The catch is that those 3 miles can easily kill you.  Since behind every successful person is an un-named Sherpa, every year, local Sherpas place something like 500 ice-stakes and 500 ice-anchors, along with a rope that stretches the final 3 miles of the ascent.  So yes – all you have to do to ascend Everest is to clip on the rope and make your way to the top.  Oh yeah, and try not to die.

Clip on to that rope!

You see, clipping on to the rope is pretty much an absolute necessity if you want to make it to the top (or back down to safety).  But there’s also more to it than that.  You have to also get climbing!!  The way the pastor put it this morning was that because of the severe altitude and weather, if you were to just clip onto the rope, and then just stand there, you’d be dead before you knew it.  So just merely clipping onto the rope is actually a reflection not on life, but on death itself.

The Pastor this morning used this analogy brilliantly to apply to your faith journey – and it totally works there.  And I loved the effect of him being bundled up like a mountain climber while he was preaching.

But I’m going to try and bring the same analogy into the self-defense world.  Maybe I shouldn’t admit this publicly, but when I was hearing the words this morning and seeing the pictures on the screen, my mind immediately went to “wow, this is a perfect analogy of “talisman thinking,” which Marc MacYoung has written about extensively.  In my world, we run into talisman thinking all the time.  Typically, it’s people who buy a gun and immediately relax – “ok, whew!  NOW I’m safe” – like the gun itself has magical powers of protection.  You see, they’ve clipped onto the rope – they now own a self-defense tool – but they haven’t yet made any actual progress toward saving their own life!

Things you will never catch me doing, for $100, Alex.

Since you’re reading this blog, my guess is that you’ve either already purchased a firearm or you’re seriously considering it.  Excellent!  Just be aware that until you’ve immersed yourself in good training, it’s just an expensive chunk of plastic and metal.

A few of the classes that you might be interested in:

Let us know how we can help you achieve your goals.  Get climbing, Colorado!


2 comments on “Clipping onto the rope

  1. Steve Ford says:

    Very good article. You hit the mark with this one.

  2. Thomas Aikman says:

    Great blog Jeff-thanks!
    I have an extensive Mountaineering background and can relate perfectly.
    There is so much more to really think about than just clipping in-for sure… and even more so when it comes to firearms…

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