Looking out this morning I could see the hills standing tall in the distance, high above the trees and my thoughts wandered back to our adventure of climbing our first mountain.
We began with the simple thought of…”It can’t be that hard…let’s do it!” We packed water, trail-mix, put on comfortable shoes, grabbed jackets in July—knowing the summit would be cold…and off we went.
The excitement drove me. I started with gusto, skipping and singing silly songs along the way. Excited to reach the top triumphant!
It wasn’t long, however, before my legs started to ache. Time was passing but the summit seemed far away.
Would we reach the goal by the time set in my head…We should be further by now…I’m feeling light-headed, my legs still ache…and I want to go back to comfortable.
How far have we really come? Do we know how much further? I can’t even see the top from all the trees around us.
Are we on the right path? Is this going to take us where we need to go? Maybe there’s a better way…like the gondola!!!!
Reading this morning:
Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? ~John 14:5
Yet Jesus answers in assurance:
I am The Way and The Truth and The Life. ~John 14:6
In anchoring our lives to Him, living according to His Way, walking in His Truth, and allowing Him to direct the Way…We will make it to the top.
In the midst of our climb, we became weary and worn down. Our water bottles emptied one by one and we continued to climb. The only music to my ears now were the words: “We will rest at the next switchback!”
A wonderful thing about appointed rest times is the knowledge of their coming. It drove me forward knowing rest was there. At one of our many switchback points, we were greeted by an unexpected visitor. Taking time to enjoy the beauty of the simple encouraged us and brought pleasure to the journey.
At times, awareness of the steep climb and slippery edge drove us to climb on the mountain side of the path—staying away from the ridge and clinging to the solid rock beneath our feet.
As we continued to climb, others who had previously climbed, came across our path, encouraging us and assuring us the goal was attainable and we would make it!
Even though we hadn’t passed the tree line and the view was a bit obscured, there was hope and the beauty surrounding the climb was invigorating. We weren’t to the top yet but progress could be seen.
We began to see more stone and less trees. The air became crisp and cold to the lungs. We donned our coats and were grateful for our hoodies. It seemed crazy to think it was July yet the air around was chilling. The summit was coming into view and we could hear Dad at the summit platform cheering us on! We made it and the view was spectacular!
I was elated. I had never climbed a mountain before. Besides birthing children, this was my biggest physical feat undertaken. I was overwhelmed with emotion! We did it!
As I looked over the landscape and into the valley below, my thoughts took over: What if I had chosen not to venture? What if when I longed for the comfortable I turned back… Would I enjoy this view as much if I had rode the gondola and not endured the climb? I think not! The climb was the journey. The climb was the way. And the end result was worth it all!
In your journey today, this is my encouragement to you:
- May your excitement for the journey drive you to preparedness and give you the encouragement to begin.
- In the midst of questioning, trust His Way, trust His Truth.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
- Honor appointed rest times. Press on toward them, take in refreshment, enjoy the beauty and appreciate how far you’ve already come.
- At times of unsure footing or fear, cling to the mountain side of the path, keep your feet on the Solid Rock beneath you.
- Trust His Way. Press on toward the goal, even when it’s just putting one foot in front of the other…you are still moving! Press on despite wanting to give up.
- Gain wisdom from those who have gone before. Learn from their experience and be encouraged by their journey.
- And when you’ve reached the summit, take in the view! Celebrate, rejoice, thanking Him for the experience of the climb!