A rock climber taking a break on a plateau

Sieze the Sunday

Rock climbers are crazy. What on earth drives a person to crawl up the face of a 1,000 foot cliff? I understand that the view is breathtaking and the rush of doing something impossible is rewarding, but I can think of other ways to experience reverie without dangling precipitously over my death. And yet, every Sunday morning, I consider rock climbing for one reason.

I’m interested in the plateaus. Most climbs have resting points, places where the climber can set some anchors for the journey ahead. An anchor is a metal hook that you drive into the rock face with a small hammer so that you can clip your rope to it – a handy thing if you loose your grip and fall.

The plateaus also give the climber a chance to refuel, take in the scenery, and appreciate how far they’ve come on the climb. Instead of the the constant push upward, there’s an opportunity to relax and restore. But there are problems with plateaus. If you get lazy or complacent, you could fall. If you don’t refuel, you could get cramps or dizziness. The time on a plateau must be used well.

“It is in the steep mountain passes that one bends and strains; level paths allow one to relax, and a state of uncontrolled relaxation quickly becomes fatal.” (Sertillanges 10).

Sunday is your plateau for the week. It’s a chance to anchor in for the journey ahead, to hit pause and take in the view, and to refuel yourself. Seize your Sunday for what it is, a plateau in your climb. But keep Sertillanges’s quote in mind – if you let uncontrolled relaxation take over, it could become fatal. What is uncontrolled relaxation? It’s time spent unaware.

The Stoic Philosopher Seneca was sensitive to time spent unaware. He knew that certain moments in life are torn from us, some are gently removed, and others glide beyond our reach. The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness (1). To let the valuable time of Sunday slip through your fingers is the most disgraceful kind of carelessness.

Seize your Sunday by reading great books, journaling your ideas, spending time with loved ones, and taking in the beautiful views of your life. Go for a walk, write an essay, or learn something new. Most importantly, plan your week to make sure that the gift of your life is not wasted on useless tasks. This plateau is here for a reason, so make the most of it.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.



Works Cited

Seneca, Lucius. Letters from a Stoic. Capstone, 2021.

Sertillanges, A.G., The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, and Methods. The Catholic University of America Press, 1992.

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