20 miles, sunburn, mosquito bites, and all the rest brings this bliss*:
It’s not every day that we get out on top and see the vista. The fact of reality is that in between peaks there are always valleys, trees, and challenges. Life isn’t lived on the top of a mountain.
I think God knew what He was doing when He decided it would be that way… Human pride likes to puff up at any opportunity, and living on a mountain certainly would escalate pride’s cause. And furthermore, if we were able to live life with an expansive view of everything behind and before us, faith would suffer. It’s in those times when we’re walking in the trees, the only view being the sky above us and the trail under our feet, that we are thrust into greater faith. It’s essentially the exercising and strengthing of faith’s sinew and muscle. That is why there is the principle which states, “What goes up, must come down.” Rightfully so, I guess – all for our good.
However, there are times when we reach the top. We summit to one of life’s “perspective peaks.” God offers just enough of a view to keep the fire burning within us to press on. Suddenly all the mosquito bites we’ve been experiencing fade into oblivion as we glimpse into God’s greater layout. Definitely a perspective altering moment. We see where we’ve been, and those “Ah ha” moments happen: that’s why that happened, or whoa, that was some seriously tough going, etc. and overwhelmingly what God has done for us becomes real. Tangible.
“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:2-3)
The hike is worth it, friends, for the view lies ahead.
*Mount Rainer is on the horizon just to the right of the center of the picture.