Rope Calls and Relationships

I enjoy a good analogy, especially when it is bundled with learning about something new like…rock climbing.  Of course leave it to Mark Beeson to create such an opportunity at SWAT (our weekly staff meeting: Staff Working As Team)

So, today Mark drew an image of a rock climber on the side of a rock face and another person on top of the rock/cliff – whatever and explained that part of rock climbing safely includes certain “calls” and to understand the rest of my post you might want to know the definition of the word “belay” that is:  to turn a rope round an object or person in order to secure it or him. (apparently belaying can be done from the cliff top or the ground with an anchor properly placed in the the top of the rock)

So, before a climber begins to climb, they call to the person that is belaying:

“On Belay!” and then wait for the response of

 “Belay On!”

Then they call out

“Climbing!” and wait for the response of

“Climb!” (or I have also found “Climb On!”)

And thus begin the process of working their way up the rock.  The person belaying is constantly pulling up the slack of the rope.  If in the event the climber feels himself falling he is supposed to call out:


[so, here is the POINT of the message and what I loved about Mark’s analogy]

If you’re not TIGHT with the one that is holding you, meaning that if there is alot of slack in the rope and they are oblivious to your climb, then you are going to fall long and fall hard.  But if you’re tight, you only fall 3 inches, the rope stretches six and you bounce a bit but you are okay and you can continue climbing.

Here is where I went with the analogy:

Look at that through your Relationships filter. 

Are you “tight” with your friends?

Married people, are you “tight” with your spouse?

Kids are you “tight” with your parents, your  friends?

Are you “tight” with your church community?

Are you “tight” with Christ?

Whoever it is that you believe you are connected to, that you believe will notice when you start falling (even if you don’t have the clear thought of calling out the word “FALLING!”), are you “tight” enough for them to notice when it happens or did you start climbing up a rock that they were unaware of ? 

If the answer to that last question was “yes”, it’s not too late to get “tight” – there is  one rope call that Mark Beeson left off, actually there are several but, the one  you can call up to have someone pull up all of the slack and hold on because a possible fall is anticipated:


You have to stay connected, you have to call out.  You.

 “LORD, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “LORD, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

~Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV)