I remember walking in the mountains of Montana early one morning and the same feeling came upon me. Walking on the mountain takes your breath away-figuratively and literally. The mountains were beautiful in the early morning. That morning I walked down the hill for quite awhile, not thinking that if I wanted to get home, it would be necessary to walk back up the hill.
Going uphill is difficult. In fact, so difficult that I quit at one point, and decided I would wait for someone to come along and pick me up. It was here that the imaginary wall showed up. I felt I must go on. Physically I was depleted, but I needed to walk on up to the top. I pushed through the wall. I rested often, but as I rested I still had this wonderful view of the Mission mountains and the valley below. Even in my resting time I was aware of God’s presence in those mountains.
What an analogy of the Christian walk. When a person first starts walking with Christ, the walk is not too difficult; we are on the top of the hill. We start down the hill just a step or two. We aren’t going far, but we want to test ourselves just a bit. How easy it is to wander on our way admiring the beauty surrounding us, oblivious to how far down the path we have traveled. We have gone too far away from Christ. We are walking an unknown path. Realization hits and we recognize that we need to get back to where we started.
We decide to start back. Traveling back isn't easy. We often need to take a breather. Prayer becomes necessary if we are to continue. Our time with God’s Word increases as we realize the need for spiritual food. Friendship and encouragement from our friends is the crutch we lean on. Just like the beauty of the mountains was still surrounding me so the spirit of Christ still is with us.
We recover our spiritual breath, take a new look at the situation and go on toward the top. We continue struggling with the determination to go back to where we began this downhill journey.
Physical walking and spiritual walking have so much in common. The Spirit keeps pushing us to walk a little farther, to become a little stronger in the knowledge of the Lord. We walk through that wall. Certainly it is a struggle. Sometimes the struggle is a daily thing; sometimes it goes on for years.
The top of the hill is worth it.