“We go from strength to strength until each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:7
ARREST | Tall mountains are built by vey tiny movements. Before 1953, most climbers of Everest failed or died. Sherpas revere the highest mountain in the world as the house of the gods. Edmund Hillary, 1st to reach Everest’s summit, reflected that the mountains gave him courage & strength. To prepare, one must learn to Arrest one self. ..to stop one self once falling, sliding downward. Isn’t that so like our earthly lives, slipping out of control some days in certain circumstances that have been built up bit by bit over the course of a lifetime? Adapting to continual irritations year by year, we hardly realize the that the slope of life has become a 90∘ Angled summit. Sherpas quip with summit seekers, “If you fall into a crevasse, you fall all the way to America, 1/2 way around the world.” Quite a disappointment, to prepare for the upward climb if we don’t heed the need to prepare for the downward spiral.
A REST | Too high, too soon, and you will develop edema, lungs swelling with fluid. Ironically, you must drink more water to survive. Coughing spells can even break ribs. Several times a day you hear the roar of an Avalanche. And very few climbers have survived storms on Everest as temps plunge below 100∘F with hurricane force Arctic winds. Climbers must stop, sometimes for several weeks at a time to rest & wait. ..early May is the best time to scale the summit of Everest. After years of trials, tests, & temptations in the desert, the wilderness, & the seemingly everlasting winter season, I somehow never expected that The Great I AM would lead me to scale the summit of Everest! Highest heights, deepest depths. Here I stand, the 1st day of May, facing the precipice of life’s next GRAND ADVENTURE ~ summer school in Apologetics & having just applied to grad school, Master’s & PhD ahead!!
ALTITUDE | Climbers must Ascend slowly. The body will naturally Acclimatize, doubling the number of red blood cells so the breath, at increasing elevations Above sea level, can carry more oxygen. Nearest the summit, the Altitude starves your brain for oxygen, the body deteriorates rapidly, and bones become weak. This is the “Dead Zone”. Imagine starting the climb for the summit at midnight, with oxygen tanks, at 30∘F below zero. No one speaks, there is no oxygen to breathe. You cannot get enough Air & feel completely Alone. The human body is not designed to survive up there, it screams for you to go back. It takes every bit of strength & concentration to put one foot in front of the other. You’ve never been so tired in your life, you want to stop & rest, but tell yourself, 10 more steps.
ATITUDE | At this point, remember the Atitude of respect for God. Everest climbers “cleanse bad spirits & make offerings to the gods”, as we must remember to PUToff self & PUTon increasing Christlikeness. In the face of terrible hardship, will the watching world say of us, “They handled themselves with courage & grace“. The Hillary Step, just at the peak of the summit is all rock & ice and you feel like you’re closest to death. ..it is the voice of your loved one that pushes you to the very tip. I press on.. .to the top of the world!
“It is not the mountain we conquer. It is ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary
I press on.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of The LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools; They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favour on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour & honour; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Psalm 84
A ~ descriptions from Everest on IMAX.