I read recently some interesting article about faith that reminded me of my Latin language skills, recalling the base for the term religion: religio-- to retie, to bind. This idea of re-tying, binding yourself to something--like the climber who adjusts carabiners while scuffling over the sheer face of rock--struck me as especially appropriate an image during Advent (or at any time the practice of faith and contemplation leads us to look inside ourselves). Of course there's the meaning of binding oneself, of being bound, which connotes negatively, of course. I don't see this so much as the deeply personal experience of free will in the climbing that is human life. I tie myself back to God again and again, even as I fall or slip in the climb. In fact, I am utterly grateful for each carabiner, the length of rope--moments of grace, depth of mercy--which the relationship I cherish with God affords me.
In the quiet stillness I find the spirit enters, creates realization in my heart and mind, and opens me up for the climb. Instead of worrying about the heights to which I can go, I take in the view. I listen. I grow, both secure and challenged, in awe of the possibilities which this binding of my soul frees me to experience.