The highest paved road in North America is the Colorado Scenic Byway that leads from Idaho Springs up Mount Evans. The road terminates 14,130 feet above sea level, from where you can make a short hike to the summit of the peak, which is at 14,258 feet. Last week I had the privilege of being a part of my sons’ Trail Life USA summer camp to Colorado. For many in the group, the time spent at Mount Evans was the highlight of the trip.
When I reflect on the drive up that mountain road, I see many parallels that apply to my Christian walk. In this and the next few posts, I will unpack some of what I learned and how that life experience has changed the way I view my life journey.
1. The road is long. The vertical distance between the pay station at the base of Mount Evans and the top of the road is around 3000 feet, but the road to cover that trek is 14 miles. Certainly it would be more direct to go straight up the mountain, but that is not the path that the road takes.
Does God ever let us take the most direct route to any destination on our spiritual pilgrimage? I certainly can’t remember any such times in my life. Remember that we are on a long road, and we must keep traveling that road, one step or (one turn of the van wheels) at a time.
2. There are several turns along the way. Why is the Mount Evans road so long??? All of the switchbacks along the route. Because of the steep grade of the mountain, it was necessary to build a winding road with several hairpin turns near the summit.
So often I have thought that I knew where God was leading me, only to encounter an unexpected turn, and then another, and then another. These turns are not meant to discourage or frustrate us, but rather are part of the path that God is using to refine our character. Just like I was not the one that designed the Mt. Evans road, I am not the ultimate designer of my life. Several times I have attempted to blaze my own trail, and have learned that doing so is not a wise choice. As a friend of my says almost every time he preaches, “Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings conflict.” Whether driving up a mountain or pursuing God, we need to follow the path that has been laid out before us.
3. Parts of the journey are scary. I don’t know how wide the road is, but I would guess it is no wider than twenty feet or so. Add to the narrow road the fact that there are no guard rails along the route and there are many places with steep drop-offs, and you have a recipe for a white-knuckle drive. As I was driving a 15 passenger van up the mountain, I was very aware that a mistake on the damp ribbon of asphalt could be disastrous.
God doesn’t promise an easy life. In fact, many times in Scripture we find that his followers are in great peril. But it is through the peril that we can become more dependent upon him. Without the scary parts of life, would we forget to rely upon our Savior?
In my next post I plan to share my feelings during the ascent and descent of that road, as well as more insights that I hope you find helpful.
Question: What real life experiences have you had that affected how you view your journey as a God-follower? I look forward to hearing from you.