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The story tells about a mountain climber, who wanted to climb the highest mountain. He began his adventure after many years of preparation, but since he wanted the glory just for himself, he decided to climb the mountain alone.
The night felt heavy in the heights of the mountain, and the man could not see anything. All was black. Zero visibility, and the moon and the starts were covered by the clouds. As he was climbing, only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped and fell into the air, falling at a great speed. The climber could only see black spots as he went down, and the terrible sensation of being sucked by gravity. He kept falling…and in those moments of great fear, it came to his mind all of the good and bad episodes of his life. He was thinking now about how close death was getting when all of a sudden he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard. His body was hanging in the air. Only the rope was holding him, and in that moment of stillness, he had no other choice but to scream: “HELP ME GOD!”
All of a sudden, a deep voice coming from the sky answered: “What do you want me to do?” “Save me God!!” “Do you REALLY think I can save you?” “Of course I believe you can”, said the man. THEN CUT THE ROPE TIED TO YOUR WAIST. There was a moment of silence. The man decided to hold on to the rope with all of his strength.
The rescue team tells that the next day a climber was found dead and frozen, his body hanging from a rope. His hands holding tight to it…ONLY 10 FEET AWAY FROM THE GROUND… And you? How attached are you to your rope? Will you let go? (Anonymous--unless someone can tell me the author.)
Someone sent this to me a number of years ago. I thought I had lost it but found it today while searching for activities for a sponsee. When I read it, I had the same intense feelings I had when I read it the first time. It is super-powerful, for lack of a better description, because I know I don’t let go and let God as much as I should. I ask for God’s help and blessings but when He speaks to me (and He does in many ways), do I acknowledge Him? Do I listen to what He has to say? Or do I continue on my own path—the path I have chosen for myself? Am I willing to trust God in every aspect of my life or do I trust Him when it is convenient?
There is no doubt that working the 12 Steps in recovery changes many things about us. At one time I couldn’t and wouldn’t trust anyone especially a Higher Power. I didn’t believe anyone could save me and didn’t bother to ask. Even if I had, I am sure I would have continued to do what I wanted to do.
Today I know that the Promises have been fulfilled or at least I can say I have tasted them all to a certain extent. How they continue to work for me is based on how I continue to let God guide me. I know that “God could and would if He were sought”. But am I going to follow His voice when I hear it? Or am I going to be like the friend who consistently asks for help and advice and yet ignores it when it is not what he or she wants to hear?
I offer all of this to you so that you might reflect, as I have, about how you hold onto your own rope. Can you and do you listen to your Higher Power and accept His plan for you? Or like the man in this story, do you ask for help and then do what you want?
I think we probably all do a bit of both. There are times when we feel that spiritual oneness with a Higher Power because we have been consistent in prayer and meditation; and then there are those times when we become a bit lazy and complacent in our lives and our sobriety.
When I read a story I visualize. I can put myself into the written word as if I were a part of it. I did that with this story, called “The Rope”. I felt fear. Had I been the climber, would I have trusted God and lived? Or would my fear have been so powerful that it would have ended my life. Pretty strong stuff to think about, yes? I know it is a story but wasn’t it fear that kept most of us in our disease? Wasn’t it fear that first put us in our disease? Wasn’t it isolation and thinking we knew best?
The story is extreme. It puts fear and trust at a level above the everyday norm but I believe we all understand the meaning and how it relates to what we have learned in recovery and what we must do to stay sober. Can we let God lead the way or do we hold onto our own rope? The decision is always ours.
Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.
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