A few years ago I was invited by a friend to join him on a 4-day men's pack trip in the mountains. It was an amazing adventure. 12 guys, 12 horses, 4 days of nothing but the wilderness, open campfires, sleeping under the stars. It was great.
On the third day of our journey we ended up near the top of the mountain and we came to a clearing that had a beautiful lake. We had been riding for 5-6 hours and I was looking forward to the break. A couple of the guys saw an opportunity, and they wanted the rest of us to join them. We were close to the summit and they wanted to climb the rest of the way. There was no way the horses would be able to make the climb, we would have to do it on foot.
Frankly, the idea didn’t appeal to me at all. Although, I had never climbed the summit of a mountain like this, and the adventure of it all was some what appealing, I didn’t want to give the energy it would take to make it.
So off they went, while a few of us stayed behind. They were gone for more than a few hours, and frankly, I was okay for the first hour but then I was bored, then frustrated, then angry, then worried that they were taking so long. When they finally came back to camp they were boisterous with their stories of discovering and exploring a cave, seeing various kinds of wildlife and the amazing view from the top. That didn’t make me feel any better.
Truth be told - I went on the trip, but I had missed the adventure.
Why did I stay behind?
- I was tired (okay, maybe a better way to put it is lazy), probably because I was desperately out of shape at that time in my life.
- I didn’t want to give the extra effort - I preferred to stay comfortable.
- I didn’t want to take the risk - I preferred to stay where it was safe and familiar.
As real as these feelings were at the time, I later regretted not going, because I missed the adventure. Likewise, it is my sense that many Christians are traveling with Jesus, they are on the trip, but they’re missing the adventure.
Maybe because we’re:
- Tired, lazy, or spiritually out of shape.
- Maybe we don’t want to give the extra effort and would prefer to stay comfortable
- Maybe we’re afraid of the risk and prefer to stay where it’s safe.
But Jesus is calling us to follow him up the mountain. If I want to stay safe and comfortable, I don’t get to be with him on the adventure up the mountain. But he says his power is made perfect in my weakness, not in my strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB) 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Does this mean I need to abandon the things I do well? Do I have to let go of my sources of strength - my gifts, my passions, my training, my expertise? No, I don’t think so. Those are good things from God. I think he simply wants us to take them on a more demanding climb, where we will actually need his help, and where he loves to give it.
Question: Are you ready to take your faith on a more demanding climb? What does that mean to you? Please comment below in the "Leave a Reply" box.