Story of the Day for Wednesday April 4, 2012
The Real Goal: To Reach the Bottom
“On the next day, as they came down from the mountain . . .
We’re used to watching athletes celebrate when they win a football game or golf tournament. But what is the only sport where athletes do most of their celebrating at the halfway-point of their event?
The answer is mountain climbing. Climbers are triumphant when they reach the peak. They celebrate and take photos and plant flags on the summit.
But, the most difficult part of the climb is still facing them. Mountain climbers tend to see their goal as reaching the top of the mountain. Their real goal, however, must be to reach the bottom.
Most of us are gritty and passionate about climbing the mountains in our life, but we often take some nasty tumbles on the way back down.
Parents often focus their dreams on raising children. When parents have fulfilled their calling and the last kid moves out of the house, a common response for “empty nesters” is depression.
Employees spend their lives working their way up the company ladder. But, once they hand in their keys to the office, the life change becomes more than they’re able to negotiate. They once felt the thrill of making important decisions. Now they are haunted by feelings of uselessness.
Those who make it into professional football have achieved a childhood dream. They have conquered the mountain. But what about climbing down? After the first two years of retirement from the NFL, seventy-eight percent of former players are unemployed, bankrupt, or divorced. The suicide rate for retired NFL players is six times higher than the national average.
Have you achieved an important goal in your life? Great! Pump your fists, plant your flag, and take a photo. But do you know how to turn your back on the summit and climb safely down?
God told Abraham to take his son, Isaac, whom he dearly loved, and sacrifice him on a mountain top at Moriah. That mountainside was surely the hardest climb Abraham ever made. He reached that summit – not to celebrate his accomplishment, but to faithfully obey the word of the Lord. But once the Lord saw that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, He substituted a ram on the altar meant for Isaac.
How well do you think Abraham did descending the mountain?
Abraham’s joy on coming down that mountain was linked to his reason for climbing it. He didn’t climb Moriah for self-glory; he ascended the peak as an act of faith – willing to lay his life – his son’s life – in the hands of God.
How well you do descending your mountain depends entirely on why you wanted to reach the peak in the first place.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)