Several years ago, I climbed Mt. Shavino, a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado, with a group from my church. After only 45 minutes, I was ready to quit, but my climbing buddies wouldn’t let me. They kept spurring me on and wouldn’t listen to my reasons why I needed to quit.
After four hours of hard climbing, we reached a boulder field, and I was content to stay there. In my mind, it wasn’t the summit, but it was good enough for me. After all, my legs hurt, my feet were bleeding from blisters, and it was incredibly difficult to breathe in the high altitude. I was content to sit on the side of the mountain and wait for them to come back down. But they wouldn’t let me settle for less than the summit.
I kept going but had serious doubts I would ever make it to the top, and I couldn’t have done it alone. Every time I wanted to quit, someone would come alongside me and give me words of encouragement: Come on. Just put one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Keep going. Eat an apple. Stay focused on the end result. You’ve come too far to quit now.
Six hours after we began that climb, all of us arrived at our destination on the summit of Mt. Shavino. It was a team effort. Without the strong helping the weak, several of us wouldn’t have made it.
As I sat on top of that mountain, I was in awe of the beauty of the view below us. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Every pain, every ache, every blister, every gasp for air.
But I almost gave up before I got to the final destination. I almost convinced myself, this is good enough. . . I’m tired. . . I’ve seen enough. . . I don’t have to go to the top. . . it’s not worth the pain and effort. . . It’s ok to play it safe and not take any risks.
Thankfully, my climbing buddies wouldn’t let me settle for status quo, sitting on the side of the mountain while they went on to experience the full beauty of that mountain.
I’ve often thought how that parallels the Christian life. It gets tough at times, and I don’t want to be stretched. I’m hurting. I’m tired. I don’t want to take any risks. And I find myself being content to just stay where I am and settle for status quo instead of pushing through the challenges and pain and pressing on to the end result of what God has in store for me.
I’m glad I didn’t settle for the side of the mountain instead of the magnificent view I experienced at the top. In the same way, I don’t want to settle for status quo and miss out on all that God has for me if I will just keep pressing on to the “summit.”
Let’s spur one another on and not settle for status quo in the Christian life. The end result will be worth it.