I’d heard of it all my life – North Carolina’s Chimney Rock – but never had the opportunity to go there. Until last week.
What an amazing experience! Climbing 26 stories of oh-so-steep stairs was actually worth it (although I wouldn’t admit that while doing it!) to soak in the 1,200 foot high view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that extends 75 miles.
But you know what? I spent the nearly two hours lifting one weary leg above the other on the gazillion steps considering the similarities between ascending this rock and taking my spiritual life to the next level in ascending toward THE Rock. You know, the one that is higher than I (or you).
Achieving closeness with Papa God.
Yep, climbing both rocks entail:
1. Set your goal. Aim high. Otherwise you just keep sitting on your tushie looking up, wondering what the incredible view looks like from up there. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Phil 3:14, NASB).
2. Do the journey with others. No one should attempt either climb alone … the physical or the spiritual trek. Papa God doesn’t want us to live isolated existences. He’s into life and health and heart connections and belly laughs and soul sisters. “If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble,” (Ecc, 4:10, CEV).
3. Take rest breaks. Yes, YOU. I know, I know. I’m the world’s second worst at making myself stop and regroup; you’re the world’s worst. But we need those little slices of heaven that revive our energy, clarity, and motivation. Rest stops are our front line of defense against temperament-ravaging fatigue and acute nastiness. “You were tired out by the length of your road, yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, therefore you did not faint,” (Isaiah 57:10, NASB).
4. Persevere. Pray not that the Lord would lessen your load, but that He would give you a stronger back. Keep moving forward. Lift one foot in front of the other. Again. And again. I had a hard enough time getting myself up that mountain, but my daughter and her husband somehow managed to do the same climb each carrying a 20-lb baby (their 10-month-old twins). Shut my whining mouth, right? Keep your eyes on the prize – your goal – and not on your sagging self. “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus … so that you may not grow weary and lose heart,” (Heb. 12:1-3, NASB).
5. Celebrate when you finally get there. I believe we don’t celebrate near enough in this life – especially when we achieve physical or spiritual goals, some that we’ve been working toward for a l-o-n-g time. Go ahead, grab your party horn and tiarra. Papa God loves to see us rejoice! “Let your living spill over into thanksgiving,” (Col. 2:7, MSG).
So at the risk of turning this post into a commercial, I highly recommend you get up, get out, and climb something. Even if it’s up to your roof to lie back and watch the stars.
Set a goal to achieve something you’ve never done before. Something different. And then write and tell me all about it – I want to rejoice with you!