I wrote this on 28 September 2011 after climbing up to the top of the Salisbury Crags, part of Holyrood Park near Arthur's Seat.
I've spent the last 30 minutes climbing atop the Salisbury Crags. My intent this morning was to just go a bit up and sit, relax, and enjoy the sun and the view. Yet I found, at each place I could stop, I just looked up and saw a higher spot and thought, "Surely the view from there will be a bit better," and so I climbed on. Reaching that spot, I thought, "well maybe just a bit more. I can surely get a better perspective from there." And on and on I went until I found I just couldn't stop. I had to reach the top, the highest point I could get to or I would not be satisfied. After all, I had come this far already.
Sure I could call it quits and just go back, but I would always wonder about the view from the top. What might I have seen, felt, heard? What kind of knowledge might I have gained? What fresh revelation might have awaited me should I have endured the journey? And so I trekked on for curiosity's sake, sheer determination, or perhaps lack of common sense...
At any rate, I now sit at the highest point I can find, and I feel good about myself. I have a feeling of accomplishment, and I'm proud that I endured the climb and the breathlessness, for the breathtaking view was totally worth it.
I suppose, however, that the spiritual lesson for me is much more meaningful...
Amazing how this physical journey today very much mirrors the spiritual journey that I find myself facing. I feel like I am scaling a mountain, much higher than Arthur's Seat, though not as high as the Everest that some people find themselves facing. But, I would imagine that what keeps us all climbing onward is the hope that at the top, the view will be beautiful, the sense of achievement profound, the perspective insightful. That we would have a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from conquering hindreances along the way and overcoming the desire to quit, go back, or even worse, to settle for something less than God's best.
I find myself often wanting to quit, turn back, or settle, but I hear the voice of the Lord continually calling me higher. Telling me not to give up because at the top of this mountain, He has something better for me. Something I've never seen, heard, or even thought about, and better than I could ever ask, think, or imagine.
And so I press on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. I won't turn back, surrender, or succomb to the pressure to settle and be satisfied. I want more! I want to go higher, to feel the winds of His Spirit blowing over my life. To feel the warmth of the Son, to see the view from the mountaintop, to sense the closeness of His presence, and the accomplishment that comes from following His lead regardless of the cost.
Lord, help me to never be satisfied, to never quit or settle for less than the highest ground. I don't want to miss the beauty of chasing after You!
Was the climb today worth the time and effort? Absolutely. And I'm quite sure that at the top of the spiritual mountain God has me climbing, the view that I'm looking at now will pale in comparison.
Don't quit, it's worth the journey. Don't settle and forever wonder what it would have been like had you reached the top. Keep journeying onward with Him, and don't stop until you conquer and reach the top!