Nat Geo’s ‘Free Solo’ Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urRVZ4SW7WU
In June of 2017, American rock climber Alex Honnold did the unthinkable: He climbed Yosemite National Park’s “El Capitan,” a rock face that rises 3,200 feet above ground level. For laymen, we might think that is pretty impressive, but then again, a lot of people climb El Capitan each year. The difference is that Alex climbed El Capitan, from bottom to top, without any ropes or safety equipment. The only thing he had on his body besides t-shirt, shorts, and climbing shoes was his chalk bag to keep his hands dry in order to grip the oftentimes slight crags in the limestone. This type of climbing is called “Free Soloing.” Climbing El Cap with ropes, harnesses, and even a climbing partner equals impressive. Climbing El Cap free solo equals…well, we might say that’s foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:17-25; Matthew 25:1-13
Before Scripture is read in the context of the Eastern Orthodox liturgies, the deacon comes forward and announces loudly to the assembly, “Wisdom! Let us attend!” It is as if he is saying, “If your attention has wandered off, now is the time to bring it back. Get ready!” Though I’d be hard-pressed to define wisdom in the abstract, it has a refreshingly straightforward, tangible quality when I witness it in the life of an individual person. I hear an inner voice cry, “Wisdom, let us attend!” Wise people tend to be real people, people with “street cred.” There is a quiet authority that has no need to announce itself but is obvious to anyone whose wisdom-o-meter is in good order. A truly wise woman or man possesses presence like shade on a hot day. Their whole affect communicates a life lived well, deliberately, mindfully, wholeheartedly. On my first encounters with people like this – who are, truth be told, rare – my first impulse is to grow quiet, to listen more intently, to ask questions that are simple, questions that do not waste time demonstrating how much I think I know. I become aware that time is too precious for such drivel. I become aware that I am in need of oil. This person cannot give me that oil directly (if only it were that simple!) but can show me how to find some for myself.