I was excited about going to the summit. I thought going to the top of a 14,000 foot peak would be a great experience for a bunch of flat-landers from Oklahoma.
The drive immediately after the pay station was a gradual incline with some wide, sweeping curves. We were surrounded by deep green pine trees and bright green aspen foliage. However, once we got above the timberline, my perspective changed dramatically. From that change, I learned these three things about following God.
4. Focus is mandatory. As we got above the treeline, the road narrowed, and the edge of the road was no longer marked with white paint, but rather with crumbling asphalt. Through my peripheral vision I could tell there was beautiful scenery I wanted to see. However, in order to be sure the van on the road, my attention had to stay on the road.
In life there are many things vying for our attention. Work demands, church functions, our kids’ activities, shopping lists, home repairs, and on and on and on. In addition, the potential distractions are endless – Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, blogging, mindless surfing the web.
In order for each of us to utilize our lives for God’s glory, we must be intentional about the things we do and maintain focus on what needs to be done.
I continually fight these distractions. How much more time should I have spent relating with my wife, my sons, and other important people in my life rather than spending it in mindless, worthless idleness? Determine what your focus should be, then maintain it, because…
5. Others are depending upon you. I really wasn’t too concerned about my well-being as I traveled up the road. During the moments when the drive wasn’t so intense, I did think about the nine boys right behind me and their families. In order for them to not get hurt and to reach the summit, they needed my help. They were depending on me to navigate that road well.
I wasn’t driving alone. I had my friend Bob in the passenger’s seat of that van, helping me check switchbacks for traffic and maintaining some level of noise control with the boys. He was letting me know that I was doing a great job, and also let me know when he felt I was going to fast or too close to the edge of the road.
Who is depending upon you to navigate the road of your life? Spouse, kids, parents, neighbors, friends, coworkers. This responsibility is heavy, but you are not traveling alone. I had Bob on my trip. You have Jesus and a host of people who love you ready to help you along the way.
6. Trust is mandatory. As we passed the nine-mile mark of the 14 mile journey to the peak, we saw this sign:
None of us were happy to see that. However, if we were going to continue our travel to the top, we would need to press on, trusting that though the road was damaged, it was still passable.
We live in a broken world. Pain and hardship surround us. Despite this, we must trust that God is actively working through the hard places in order to take us where he wants us to be. It is not easy. It is not often fun. But he is the one who has the mountaintop perspective and can see the entire landscape.
I know how flawed I am. Therefore I will choose to continue to trust him.
In the next post I will wrap up this list of things I learned from the Mount Evans Road. While it was an unnerving experience at times, I hope to be able to do it again.