I’m always on the lookout for new words. New to me or slang, or hobby words that get introduced in new ways into life. This was the case with the above word rimrocked. While watching an episode of Bear Grylls , an adventure seeking wilderness expert, he used this rock climbing term for someone who has climbed up to a certain point, but can’t go up any further. The problem is that you are in such a precarious position that going down is also impossible. You are stuck in a scary position, you are rimrocked on the side of a mountain
Growing up as a junior high adventure seeker with access to the Rocky Mountains, I can relate to this problem. On the way up you can see future footholds and handholds, they are right by your face. But going down a mountain is more intimidating; you can see where you are going to die!! It’s always smart to cut your losses before you get rimrocked.
On the mountain of life we get rimrocked in all sorts of ways. Relational, professional, spiritual, emotional versions of getting rimrocked exist everywhere. The classic dating relationship where one cuts off support of friends, finds out this dating relationship needs to end, but not having any friend support to fall back on. Staying in a toxic relationship because you got yourself rimrocked. The glass ceiling at a job, discrimination, choices made that keep you stuck, realizing you are where you are and there isn’t much you can do, can leave you feeling professionally rimrocked.
Spiritually I think we get rimrocked as well. I think we get stuck in moments of crisis, moments of inattention, moments when the straw breaks the camels back, and moments when we ask, “what am I doing?” It’s my firm belief that these moments of getting rimrocked spiritually have significant growth potential. The problem is we are a society that proclaims everything is nice and easy and fun and joy-filled from birth to death, we haven’t really taught people how to walk through the inevitable moment of being rimrocked.
Peter tells us to not be surprised as though something strange were happening to us. A great cast of characters from the Bible find themselves here, Moses caught by fellow Israelites over what he did to the Egyptian, Joseph, David, Jonah, EVERY PROPHET with a message falling on deaf ears. These people found themselves in that moment where the way forward or backward has no obvious solution.
So what do I do when spiritually rimrocked?
1. Invite God into the situation. Our strong desire to prove ourselves and be independent might be why we got ourselves into the position in the first place. If you’re in a hole, stop digging, right!! The Bible is clear that you can have fear or a sound mind, you don’t get both. Prayer, bringing God into the circumstance of our life is the best way to make decisions moving forward.
2. Surround yourself with good counsel. I’ve been stuck on the side of a mountain. I’ve had someone physically grab my foot and lower me to a foothold I never would have been able to see myself. Don’t ask your friends to be anxious with you. Sometimes we even make accusations of our friends because they aren’t as “worked up” as we are about the situation. The greatest gift one of your friends can give you is some wisdom from the sidelines, outside of the context of the frenzy. It could be that their lack of anxiety about the issue is what would allow them to give you the advice you really need.
3.Recognize the nature of growth. When I was a child a thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, but when I grew up, I put childish things behind me. Sometimes we’ve worn a foot path down so hard we’ve forgotten how to live by faith. We begin to live by routine, it’s in the upsetting of these routines(highly annoying) that you are forced to walk a new route. It’s in this reordering of life where God can step in and make something new, something better. Embrace the reordering of life, see it as a gift, let it be bathed, measured, recalculated through eyes of faith.
I think this issues scares people, because it can be a pretty dark moment. I know the first time I experienced being rimrocked spiritually I thought about giving up on all of it. Because no one ever talks about it, we feel like we are all alone in these matters, but you aren’t. Maybe the circumstances of our day are stirring up a crisis in your heart. I pray that you’d reach out to me , a Pastor, a dear driend and share what’s going on. Someone to hold your foot and place it on a solid step of Jesus.
St JOhn of the cross coined the phrase “the dark night of the soul.” Matt Redman makes mention of it in his song ‘Your Great Grace.” I pray any rimrocked heart would be washed over by the truth in this song…
Growth can be scary when it’s stimulated by forces around us and we stare straight at a rock face. In that moment we lose the predictable, but when look close we gain a greater awareness of the One who knows it all and puts things together for our good.