Going Ropeless

All sorts of things are ‘speaking’ to me at the moment. I’m not sure if God is talking louder in this uncertain time or if I’m listening better.

Last night we did a bit of TV catchup and saw the jungle episode of the BBC’s brilliant ‘Human Planet’. And while the programme as a whole was extraordinary what got me was the little ‘the making of’ documentary at the end.

For those that missed it they’d done a section on a tribe of people who, with primitive tools, had built a tree house…in a 35m-high tree!! The tribesmen climbed to the treetops using no more than sticks and vines and strength and stamina. Yet, in the making-of we see the BBC crew all safety-harnessed up with lines and backup lines, helmets, etc.

At the end they interviewed one of the crew. What had he learned from his visit?

“I judge my own inadequacies against their expertise and knowledge. You come here and you’ve got boots in case of snake bites, we’ve got sun cream on because of the sun, you know, you’ve got twin safety ropes to make sure if one fails you get caught by the other one. And these guys, OK maybe they have a higher mortality rate but they’re much freer in their lifestyle. You know they’ll shimmy up and down these trees. I think I’d much rather live a shorter, fuller life like they do out here.”

Sometimes rules and safety measures give you freedom. Other times they take it away. Perhaps not having a safety rope stops us climbing the tree!

Leaving my stable, secure job to pursue something more interesting has been like that. I still wonder what the heck I’ve done sometimes and check if my safety ropes are ok. But I also have days when I’ve shimmied higher than ever and can see the view unfolding.