Preparing to Climb
Eighteen years ago, a group of young teenage boys and a handful of adults decided they wanted to climb a mountain. They’d never climbed a 2+ miles high mountain before. In fact, they’d never seen the mountain they had decided to climb, but it was an outdoor challenge that each one of them were compelled to accomplish. In a brief article it is impossible to fully articulate all the good that happened because of their decision.
Preparation began over a year in advance. Trip planning to and from New Mexico had to be done. Money had to be saved. Doctor visits for physicals had to be completed. Maps and trails had to be studied and a route plan had to be decided. Hikes through the wilderness had to be practiced each month to get the team physically and mentally prepared. To be honest much of the preparation took sacrifice, and each person in the group had to do many things he didn’t really want to do to prepare for the climb.
But what started as individual sacrifice ended with team accomplishment. The people on that climb, to this very day, carry with them a sense of gratitude and wisdom for what we accomplished as a team, through planning and preparing for the climb. Going through the entire process together made all the difference.
I was reminded of this group this past Sunday when Pastor Darian focused on our stewardship campaign theme of “planning to climb together.” What are we preparing for anyway?
What mountain are we planning to climb? I think the mountain top is eternal life with our Father, don’t you?
How do we prepare? I think Jesus showed us how. We believe in him, and we serve others as he served us. In church we like to call that stewardship. We take what God has given us and we share it with others. And as a church, when we do it together, it makes all the difference.
Prepare to climb? Absolutely!
One verse of the beloved hymn, “Rock of Ages,” says, “Nothing in my hands I bring/Simply to thy cross I cling.” Jesus calls us each and everyday to empty our hands so we can cling to the love of the cross. Will we follow the example of our little brother and do so effortlessly?
all good things to each of you,