Ever climbed a mountain? I have. Once in Colorado I had the opportunity. It wasn’t at all what I expected. I had always envisioned mountain climbing as using spike and pinion, muscling one’s way up a sheer wall of rock. In reality, it was mostly just hiking an upward trail, following switchback after switchback as you go higher and higher, the air getting thinner and thinner, the trees growing fewer with each turn. It’s exhausting, but certainly not so terribly dramatic… until you get near the summit. When you are within sight of the goal, the way gets far steeper, the rocks sharper and smoother, the crevasses wider and deeper. When you are almost to the top is when a bit of fear sets in. If not for 24 year old bravado and peer pressure, I may not have made it. As it was, I could barely bring myself to actually stand on the 3x3 foot summit. Laying on my stomach seemed quite good enough. But one just HAS to stand to see the amazing vistas thousands of feet below.
I’ll never forget the experience nor the thrill of having done it – of actually having gotten to the top.
Life is much like my mountain top experience. It seldom turns out to be as exciting as we expect. It is often exhausting, hard work. Sometimes it is difficult to breath (in the figurative sense) in the thin air around us. And getting to the top – reaching the goal – gets hardest just before success. But in the end, persistence pays off with the pride in accomplishment and a never-seen-before new view of your world.