At The Movies: Free Solo

Every August, we explore the spiritual truths behind Hollywood’s biggest hits… and today, we’re capping off our At The Movies series by learning from the documentary Free Solo, which won the 2019 Academy Award for best documentary. In the film, rock climber Alex Hannold sets out to be the first person to free climb, or climb without using ropes, on a mountain called El Capitan in Yellowstone National Park.  

Mountain Movers

Throughout Free Solo, Alex is laser focused, immensely disciplined and diligent. He puts confidence and trust in his abilities, experience and training to keep fear from disabling him in the climb. Throughout his climb, Alex exercises what the Bible calls FAITH! In Mark 11, Jesus talks about having the kind of faith that influences how we behave BECAUSE of what we believe. With this faith, God can make us MOUNTAIN MOVERS! 

See, Jesus moved an insurmountable obstacle between God and man through his life, death and resurrection. He was the first true mountain mover! In the same way, God calls each of us to be mountain movers today… To be the people who confront the seemingly impossible obstacles in our lives and overcome them by the power that comes with FAITH IN JESUS. There are actually 4 key steps we can take to overcome the mountains in our lives. First, you’ll have to identify your mountain.

#1) Identify Your Mountain

Maybe your mountain isn’t climbing El Capitan like in the film… Rather, the mountains in your life are seemingly impossible obstacles that prevent you from moving forward. So, what challenge or difficulty do you face? What is God calling you to take up? Once you identify your mountain,you’ll need to pray and prepare.

#2) Pray And Prepare

In Mark 11:24,  Jesus teaches his followers that the power of prayer comes from trust and confidence in Jesus Christ. See, for Jesus, prayer was a FIRST RESPONSE. However, it’s not enough to just pray… instead, pair your prayers with action! In the movie, Alex practices his climbing route for days…hours…weeks…months… and likewise, we should to pray like moving a mountain depends on God, and plan like it depends on us. Next up, you’ll need to embrace setbacks.

#3) Embrace Setbacks

It’s easy to be discouraged when we try to move our personal mountains, but they don’t move quickly. We can pray, plan, and walk in faith, but sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. The enemy of our souls attacks and sometimes our situations are out of our control. However, we can have hope when we face setbacks on our journeys, and embrace the love and cause of Christ with faith in the process! Finally, if you want to be a mountain mover, it’s time to START CLIMBING!

#4) Start Climbing

In Free Solo, Alex faces a setback while climbing and bails on his first attempt to free climb El Capitan… but he comes back months later and successfully becomes the first person on the planet to free solo El Capitan! That’s a huge accomplishment. Likewise, God has called each of us to become mountain movers… but every journey begins with a first step! It’s time to just start climbing…one step at a time… and sometimes, even your setbacks can set up your comeback!

So, what’s your next step of faith? Trust God as you identify the mountains in your life… pray and prepare… embrace the setbacks and ultimately, start climbing!