Those of you who follow me on Facebook known that on Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do—nor had it ever entered into my mind to do it until I moved out here: I climbed a 14er! What’s a 14er? This is a mountain whose summit is over 14,000 feet. So, starting on the northeast face of Mt. Evans by Summit Lake, I climbed 1500+ feet up a 25% rocky incline to the top. It was a cold, painful but exhilarating time with two men with whom I became fast friends.
In the process, I had some lessons reinforced.
How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time!
With the thin air and the 39 degree weather, we would stop every 10 minutes or so to gather ourselves. It took about 90 minutes to climb the 1500 foot zigzag trail (such as it was) up this northeast face. We would look back to see how far we had come, but we would look forward to see how far we had to go—and it was intimidating. We felt at times that the mountain would fall over on top of us. But how did we make it? One step at a time! That’s what God calls us to do! We will not always meet the goals he has for us, but He gives us the strength to put one foot in front of the other and press on!
Sometimes the view is impaired, but trust the One Who has been there!
As you can see from the picture to the side, the climb was cloudy! By that, I mean we were climbing inside a cloud. The leader of our group (Bob) told us what a beautiful view it was at the top, but all we could see was gray. We even had pictures at the top to help us identify what mountains we would be seeing, if it was clear.
No doubt, there are times in our Christian walk when the view is not clear! We have to trust the one who has the big picture in place and press on, trusting him and his perspective over ours.
It’s Not Good to Climb Alone
We don’t always know the trail. We sometimes get injured on the journey. We always need encouragement! I know we did!
There are Christians who feel that they should travel alone. Either they feel no one understands them, or they feel they have it figured out enough to where they do not need anyone to help them. Both of these issues will leave a Christian feeling extremely alone because they are both different angles of pride. Put down those walls and recognize there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and that you don’t have it all figured out. We all need one another!
Soak in the Journey
As I was climbing, I would say to my fellow novice climber (Donnie), “Hey Donnie! Guess what? We’re climbing a mountain!” We would stop and (pre-cloud) look at the beauty surrounding us. We would marvel that God could make such art out of nothing! The variety! The beauty! And the sense of accomplishment when we reached the top!
Christ empowers us with His Spirit to press on! After my legs calmed down and forgave me for putting them through such struggles, I am ready to do it again! Not simply for the physical accomplishments—I learn a lot about my Savior and about myself in the process.