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Croc thoughts

Climbing toward Christ

Drew Shriner poses with his crocs.

Drew Shriner poses with his Crocs.

By Drew Shriner | Echo

The award-winning documentary “Free Solo” follows climber Alex Honnold as he attempts a ground-breaking feat: free soloing (climbing without a rope) El Capitan, commonly known as El Cap, a 3,000 foot, sheer granite face in Yosemite National Park.

Honnold’s single-minded focus on this monumental feat and its effects on his way of life and his relationships are on full display in this intimate look into his achievement. Everything in his life is geared towards doing what he loves — climbing. His home (a van), his diet (vegetarian) and his relationships (he makes it very clear to his girlfriend that he would choose climbing over her) are all subjugated to his passion of climbing.

He dedicated years of his life to climbing El Cap, rehearsing difficult sections on the wall until he knew each hold and move on the wall with automatic precision.

On June 3, 2017, Alex Honnold climbed the wall in under four hours, completing the first ever free solo climb of El Cap and stretching our idea of human limitations.

After watching the documentary, my friends and I were left wondering what it would look like to emulate Honnold’s single-mindedness in pursuit of something greater than climbing — following Christ our Lord.

If Christ is our Lord, shouldn’t every aspect of our lives be subjugated to him? Isn’t every detail impacted by our commitment to following Jesus?

That really is the pursuit of this column — to explore how Christ’s lordship affects the many areas of our lives today.

This is a really difficult calling to pursue. Submitting every area of one’s life to Christ is a painful process. It is a call to daily die to oneself, to take up one’s cross and bear it. Every. Single. Day.

And it is a calling lived out in the minutia as much as it is in the big decisions of life. I think some Christians are comfortable with, or at least have accepted, the idea of Christ’s lordship affecting one’s job or relationships. Far fewer are comfortable with the idea of Christ’s lordship affecting their sleep schedule, their diet or their hand-washing habits.

Though the hand-washing example may seem extreme, I firmly believe that there is nothing too small to be subjugated to Christ’s lordship, and I honestly felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit when I did a poor job washing my hands when I was sick one time.

I do not mean to call believers to a new legalism in which we are constantly uncertain about what to do, paralyzed by a fear that we may lose God’s love by doing something wrong.

Rather, I want to challenge each person to live in constant communion with the Holy Spirit and be open to the Spirit’s gentle challenges and corrections, even in matters as small as washing one’s hands.

If we can imitate Alex Honnold’s single-minded pursuit of climbing El Cap in our own walks with Christ, I believe that we will live more and more kingdom-shaped lives.

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