Friday, October 29, 2010

I Can't See A Thing!

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to New England. We had a great time taking in the history and sights of that part of our country. On one particular day we decided to drive up Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Now, the summit of Mount Washington reaches a height of only 6,288 ft. To put that into perspective, Pike's Peak is 14,115 ft., Mt. McKinley is 20,320 ft., and Mt. Rainier is 14,410 ft. So, having been up Pike's Peak several times, we thought a drive up Mount Washington would be piece of cake. Afterall, the city of Colorado Springs sits at an elevation of over 6,000 ft. and we've taken several trips there without any problems.

The initial part of our journey was incredible. The colors of autumn were unbelievable as slowly we made our way up the mountain. The road was a bit narrow and the absence of guard-rails made the drive a bit adventurous. As we continued up the mountain, some clouds blew in and our ability to see became increasingly more difficult. Onward we drove with the summit as our goal. Thicker and thicker and thicker the clouds became until we could not see past the front of our vehicle. Oh, did I mention the wind? The wind was hitting the car like a linebacker hitting a running back. Needless to say, our drive up the mountain that was suppose to be a piece of cake was turning into anything but. My crew's confidence in me was failing. Well, actually my own confidence in me was failing. I'm pretty sure I saw a turtle pass us like we were sitting still.

Now, although I've driven in some difficult weather before, I have to admit this was a first for me. That being said, I've faced this scenario many times walking through life. Those moments when you have no idea what lies ahead. You want so desperately to know how this thing is going to turn out, but there's know way of knowing. Just like us on that mountain, even the next step is cloudy. Maybe, you've heard God speak and you step out in confidence knowing that you've heard him clearly. Then, life takes a turn and you begin doubting. Circumstances are screaming loudly and the journey you anticipated is not the one you're experiencing. The fun has given way to work and everything in you is saying turn back. Everyone around you is screaming turn back.

Your mind becomes flooded with questions and doubts. "Maybe you didn't hear from God." "Maybe you missed God on this one." "Maybe this is God saying, NO!" In those moments for some reason its hard to hear his voice. Perhaps its because there are so many other voices competing for your attention. Whatever the reason, the truth is that so often here is where we lose the battle. Its in those moments when what we know is challenged by the world around us. Our five physical senses begin taking in thousands of inputs and most of them oppose that one input we originally received from God.

We are no different than the disciples who think the boat is going down in the storm or who can't wrap their brain around the day Jesus died. We're no different than Abraham trying to figure out how God was going to give him and Sarah a son at such an old age. Just like them we are faced with the decision to continue on or throw in the towel. We are faced with the cold hard reality of how firm our faith is.

On that mountain, I couldn't see a thing. I had never been there before and I had no idea what was up ahead. I would love to say I forged ahead and made it to the top. I didn't. I found a place to turn around and started back down the mountain. Sadly, that has been the same outcome many times throughout life. Fear, doubt, and unbelief win and the summit is never reached.

I know it would be great to journey through life with no obstacles. It would be so wonderful to be able to hear God's voice clearly, see the big picture and step out with no opposition. But that kind of life would require no faith. God has designed us in such a way that faith is a necessity for how we are to live life. Its living life in such a way that regardless of how our five senses interpret the world around us, we simply believe and trust God. Its understanding that there is a reality that is more real than what we can touch, see, hear, smell, and taste. Its banking on the promises of God when your experience is telling you something else. Its seeing with another set of eyes when your natural eyes see nothing.

While we had a great trip and I will never forget the experiences we had there, I do regret not making it to the top of Mt. Washington. I know that on that day once we got there we would have not been able to see anything. That's not really the point though. The point is just finishing the journey. Its about fighting the fear, the obstacles, and every urge to throw in the towel and just pushing forward to finish the journey. I pray today that wherever you find yourself on the journey, you fight through everything that says turn around and you fight to press ahead. The summit awaits!

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