For as long as I can remember, I have been captivated by a good challenge. I know a great many people who are easily discouraged whenever they encounter a barrier to one of their goals. Not me! When I see a barrier, I think of it as something I can work to overcome.

Right now, in my head, I am singing the words to the song, “Climb Every Mountain,” from The Sound of Music. Others might see a mountain blocking their way along the journey of life and become discouraged. I see the mountain in front of me as a place to improve my climbing skills!

This week I have been reading about climbing a mountain as a metaphor for the Christian life. More specifically, I have been reminded that growing in the faith is a process that requires an expenditure of time and energy, much like climbing a mountain.

You may look at a mountain and think, “Oh, how beautiful,” without ever giving any thought to what it would be like to see the world from a higher elevation. I look at a mountain and wonder what things are like at the next level.

Throughout history mountains have been considered sacred places. In Ancient Greece, Mount Olympus was thought to be the dwelling place of the gods. In Ancient Israel, Mount Sinai was the place where Moses encountered God and received God’s commandments

For these and many other reasons, I appreciate the understanding that our spiritual growth is like climbing a mountain. Mountain climbing hard work, and so is growing spiritually. Everyone starts out at base camp, but that is just a place to prepare for the climb.

I particularly appreciate the understanding that those who move up the mountain to the next encampment must first replenish the camp they are leaving. In addition, coming down the mountain is just as important as going up. Those who have braved the mountain slopes have a responsibility to share with other climbers the knowledge they obtained on their journey.

My challenge for you today is this: keep climbing the spiritual slopes, but do not neglect those who climbing up behind you.