A few years ago, I flew to Colorado to hang out with some fellow coaches and friends at Frontier Ranch. Earlier in the year we had decided to attend a conference with John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart.
Upon arrival at the ranch, everything seemed perfect. The scenery was beautiful, it was great to be with friends, and we were all looking forward to learning from John.
One day, we had some free time to do our own thing. We decided to take a short hike up a mountain – at least, it seemed like a mountain to me since I live in the flatlands of Tennessee. In reality it was probably just a really big hill. Regardless, our goal was to reach a rappelling platform about halfway to the top.
Since we were already at a more elevated altitude than I’m used to, I was a little winded by the time we made it to the platform. I was ready to make the descent back to camp when one of the guys said, “Let’s go to the top!”
“No, not the top! I’m already winded. I don’t want to go any higher.” Of course I didn’t say those words out loud. But these guys I was with can be pretty persuasive.
Before I knew it, we were on our way up. As we trekked higher and higher, the air became thinner and thinner. By the time we were about 30 yards from the top, I was gasping for breath.
Just then, we met up with another climber who was also struggling. He had asthma, and needed to stop to catch his breath. Of course I stopped with him. I couldn’t just leave him there alone, could I? Not when it also gave me the perfect excuse to rest.
As we were sitting on the side of the mountain, we could hear the other guys 30 yards above us as they reached the top. “Wow! Look at that!” “Awesome! This view is amazing!”
My first thought was, “How nice for them. I’ll see the pictures later.” But then, we had come so far, and it would be a shame to miss out on that view. We made the decision to go on up to see what all the fuss was about.
The air was still thin. We both started gasping for breath again, but we didn’t stop. We were determined to make it to the top.
When we finally reached the peak, we saw what the others had been so animated about. The view was amazing! It was worth every step.
I’m glad we finished the climb.
What mountain are you climbing today? Do you want to quit? What will you miss out on if you don’t reach the top?
Check your heart. Make sure you know why you are climbing that mountain in the first place. Then catch your breath and keep climbing, one step at a time.
You will love the view!