Summiting Mount Etna
I just have gotten back from a three day backpacking experience in the back county of Northern California. Right before I left I ran into a verse:
“Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will read her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her” Hosea 2:14
So, I was ready to listen.
One of the adventures we decided to take was the idea to summit Mount Etna. We started our ascent while bush-whacking past trees, tall grass, vines and branches. This hike was straight uphill. There’s no drama when I say it was worse than the stair climber at the gym. One of the friends along trip, Callie, was in front of me. Callie was stepping strategically as to not let rocks fall on me or the sand and dirt to fall on my feet. She along with other people came up with the idea that if we step in each other’s foot prints and where we dug our boot into, we will have a firmer grip. How true!
In life, we are given the opportunity of perspective. Being able to stand on top of someone else revelation and legacy so that we may too climb to the top of the mountain.
We continued to hike straight up the side of the mountain. On this uphill hike, the sky was black and the thunder was booming and lightning was striking while the rain came down hard. Thankfully, most of the time we were underneath trees that sheltered us but once we hit a spot without covering, we became drenched.
The view: incredible. This was completely worth the “almost-tears” and struggle and continuous begging for encouragement by my friends ahead.
We started the decent so that we could be back before sundown. On the way down, I realized it was so much easier. But why? We use different muscles but why is downhill so much easier than uphill? I’m convinced it’s because the Lord wants to make something clear. It is so much easier to return to where you came from: past sin, a circumstance you chose to dwell in, or anything that may hinder you. When really, it takes determination, perseverance, and focus to reach the summit of the “mountain” you’re climbing. It’s supposed to take discipline and hard work to achieve the view. But once you get to the summit and you have the view of where you came from and where you are, and what surrounds you, you become consumed with a heart of gratitude of where your feet are.
It is so much easier to turn around and walk back downhill, but the encouragement from my friends, the voice of the Holy Spirit, and the motivation for the view kept me going. It’s the same in life. Don’t turn back around, it’s too easy and you’ll miss out on the celebration.
“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord.