Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Mountain of Death
I hiked a mountain this weekend :) No. Not just any old mountain. I hiked the Mountain of Death this weekend! You may have heard it called by its former name: The Flatiron, a hike in the Superstitions, but for the sake of my blog I have renamed it.
On Saturday morning, Kevin and I picked up our handy dandy friend Ryan (who should be renamed -mountain goat- for the sake of this blog because he scales rock like no one's business!) and decided to go hiking. We arrived at the trail head around 10:30 and started our hike. The first hour took us to the base of the Mountain of Death and it was here that Kevin tapped out. He felt *sick* Mhmm. Sure. Moving on, Ryan and I decided to go "a little bit further" and told Kevin that we'd be back for him in 30 mins. 30 mins later, we were still hiking UP and a friendly old man said that we were doing great and only about an hour from the top. With that in mind, I grinned and asked Ryan if he thought Kevin would mind... He said Nahh. :) So we proceeded to climb the Mountain of Death (MOD) without informing my poor invalid brother. Ha.
While I was climbing up the MOD, and trying not to die, *side note -- not dying seems to be the underlying theme of my life. huh. imagine that.* I came up with my own Cheesy-Fireside-Analogy (CFA as I so lovingly call it. It's a Hume Lakeism and if you haven't heard me talk about Hume, ask me because it has had a profound impact on my life!). Okay are you ready for my CFA? Life is like a mountain. Allow me to explain.
While I was hiking on Saturday, I realized that I tend to look at my feet 98% of the time. Yes, this is a good thing. Especially if I'm trying not to die on the MOD, but rarely ever would I pause to look at the beauty around me. Also, while I was looking at my feet and plotting my next step I couldn't help but think that I was never going to make it to the top. My thoughts were consumed with the difficulty of the task at hand and I really didn't have the final goal in mind. In life, I think that this concept is also applicable. In the middle of a trial, all I think about is the trial I'm facing. I never stop and consider the "big picture." And I certainly tend to overlook the beautiful work God is doing in the lives around me. I tend to think that life as I know it will never get better. Never improve. Often times, I feel like I'm never going to make it, and I lose sight of my goal.
Life is like a mountain. It is hard. But as a believer, I should come to expect an upward climb all the way. Every step might be plagued with doubt and difficulty, but I have to press on and strain to keep the final goal in mind. Jesus came not to make my hike easier, but to offer hope of reaching the top. Hope of being successful in my adventure. Speaking for myself, I am living for Jesus. Life with Him is my final goal. I might feel like giving up, or perhaps think that I will never make it to the top, but the truth is, that He has died for me so that I can be successful. I find comfort in knowing that I will make it to the top. Weak and weary, I will make it to the top. Tired and spent, I will make it to the top. Broken and hurting, I will make it to the top. Sinful and shamed, I will make it to the top. Not because of my own strength or accomplishments, but because of His. Life is like a mountain :)
To finish my story, Ryan and I made it to the top and it was incredible! It was quite the accomplishment. After potty breaks, shaky legs, fatty hands, an invalid brother and a rattlesnake, we made it back down to the parking lot and danced for joy. On Sunday, I woke up and felt like dying. Everything on me hurt and wished to be buried all thanks to the Mountain of Death.
"By Your Side"
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go
May you come to expect a steep hike in life, and not be discouraged when it manifests. And may your gaze be upward and heart press onward towards the goal of being with Jesus.