If I could write out the story of my life from the past 10 years or so onward, it would be a repeating trend of me trying to find or make my own path, my own decisions and then always, always eventually making my way back to the foot of the cross of Jesus.
So many times I tried – to chart my own course, to blaze my own trail that would lead me to my ‘Summit’ – my happiness, the things I really want in life, like peace (with myself and with God) and a meaningful existence.
And so many times I found myself broken, hurting, unsatisfied, crying out to the God who saves me time and time again.
My trek towards Holiness started around age 8 or 9, when I first decided to ask Jesus into my heart. Although I don’t doubt my childlike sincerity, I didn’t really start following Christ until I was in high school. At some point along the way, I decided life wasn’t worth living, that following God was pointless. I chose to turn my back on the Truth I grew up knowing and learning, like giving up the basic skills and trainings when you get to a tough spot in mountaineering. Why would you do that? But one summer God got a hold of my stubborn heart and told me, “I have a purpose and a plan for your life.” And I believed him.
Right up until the struggle got real again, this time a couple of years after college. I knowingly, and willfully said, “Adios” to the Creator of my soul and decided I knew what was best for my life, or at the very least could figure it out on my own. I made wrong decisions. I hurt myself and others on my downhill slide to nowhere. I kept on choosing what I knew wasn’t God’s best for my life and fooled myself into thinking I could still make my life worth it, that I could obtain my goal.
In the past few months, there have been some snow slide events that made the ice field I was already on even more unstable.Yet I still decided that I could meander what was left of the route I had been traveling. When the avalanche of last weekend happened, I was forced to stop and re-evaluate. My world was shaken – because what I thought could never overtake me – had manifested itself and hit me out of nowhere.
The realization of what hit me is that I can’t keep living this way – for myself. I can’t keep buying into the lie that my inadequacies and shortcomings are the only way to make it to the summit. I can’t get myself there and I can’t pretend that my decisions in the present will not affect my future.
I have to make a change somewhere.
So this isn’t me saying that I’m somehow good, or that life is great (cause it’s not). At this point I don’t even have a noteworthy view. I’m not spelling out the changes that will have to be made in my life in the immediate future (although I’m working on an ‘action plan’), and I’m not claiming to have had an “aha” moment where suddenly my life is drastically different.
But what I am doing is realizing that I cannot continue my life trek towards Holiness unless I look continually to my holy, perfect and loving Guide. I cannot understand the mountain, or the proper techniques for combating temptations, such as succumbing to the cold or the terrain that looks stable, without studying and consulting the Guidebook for direction. I cannot go another step without Prayer, which should be like breathing in bottled oxygen – it’s a necessity for a weak heart such as my own.
So that’s where I’m starting my Trek. On a new path. With a hurting heart that needs the Healer, and the courage of a novice who is learning once more to trust wholeheartedly in the One who directs my steps.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:5-9
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
1 John 3:1-3
*as a side note, I’ve been reading a bunch in the past couple weeks about the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, so if you notice references to mountain climbing, that’s kinda why*