When I was younger one of the activities I enjoyed was hillwalking. Especially in the Mourne Mountains of County Down. A friend who still regularly goes hillwalking offered to take me up the mountains. I was excited at the prospect, but also a little daunted because, although I spent the last 6 years living in a Rectory with 4 flights of stairs, I am not the fittest! Anyway D-Day was yesterday and we headed off at 06:30 to Co. Down.
We managed to climb Bearnagh, Meelmore and Meelbeg! When we began the walk 'Sarge' who I was walking with asked me whether I wanted to make for the summit or contour around. It was a key moment. If I decided to contour around we would only get to a certain height and not reach the top. Whilst I knew we would have to stop for 'breathers' on the way up I wanted to get to the top.
At the end of our walk after having reached the top of three 'fair sized' mountains I knew I had made the correct decision. It had been a brilliant day with good 'craic' and company on the walk as well as a real sense of achievement at what we had been able to do.
Let's consider the question that defined the day, contour round, or summit?
In life we have to face similar choices. God, I believe, wants us to get the best out of life: Jesus declaring. "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly!" John chapter 10 verse 10. This abundant life will present us with challenges, and something else.
The hill walk left its marks! Nothing permanent but my knees and feet 'know' that they were hillwalking. I believe that when we choose to grasp hold of the life God calls us to live that we will also be changed by the journey through life with him. Our joy is that we will have travelled with Him as our guide and even though we 'feel' the journey thereafter, we will also be glad we reached the summit. The pain we experience is real but it can also be transformed by Him. At the end of our journey we will have faced the question many times, 'Do we make for the summit or contour round?' Our answer will make all the difference!