The picture you see above is the climb I almost didn’t make.
Our youth ministry got back from a mission trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. As with any trips, we had a free day and our free day included a Zip Line. I was super excited about doing this because I knew it would be in the jungle or the forest and I was not disappointed as it was a combination of both.
Our journey began with a 10 minute drive up to the point we were supposed to walk. The drive itself almost did us in as we sat in the back of the truck that had us betting on who would be tossed from the vehicle first.
Once we arrived, we geared up and started to video from the Sony Action Cam strapped to my head. We were told their was 72 steps to the top. What was meant to be said that there were 72 flights to the top. I reach a little before half way when I started to not feel so good. That’s an understatement. I felt my blood pressure dropping, I was getting dizzy and nauseous, I couldn’t breath, and mind started racing to the inevitable conclusion that I was not going to make it up this mountain.
I was filled with discouragement and disappointment until I heard the voice of the guide next to me who encouraged me to breath through my nose, sit down and rest, and drink some water. Even with his suggestions I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on. Fear had gotten into me and I was wondering whether I was taking a health risk by climbing further, but the fear of not making up was worse. I hate failure so much, I pushed forward.
God showed up big through my guide. God showed me, as I climbed, one step at a time, that this guide was very much like the Holy Spirit.
[bctt tweet=”And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” username=””]
My guide was a gentle man. His name is Pedro. He told me to sit, drink, and rest. When he saw me struggle to catch my breath or take another step he told me to stop. He spoke to me with compassion and kindness. He kept telling me where we were at in the journey and how much further there was to go.
The closer I got the top I started to hear voices. Someone saw me and shouted, “C’mon Paul, there’s cold water up here, and some cheered when I arrived. Yet another moment God revealed his love more me.
[bctt tweet=”Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us.” username=””]
At some point during the joinery my guide asked to take my pack holding my stuff and relieved me of any extra weight that was holding me back. Jesus carried my burdens to the cross and now the Holy Spirit carried my concerns, worries and fears. The voices at the top were my friends and fellow believers cheering me on. Heaven is doing the same for you and me today.
When I arrived at the top I sat down wondering how I had made it. I should’t have, but I did.
This mountain had become a metaphor for my life and spiritual journey. Like the life, the mountain is hard, and revealed that I was not in the best physical condition and reveled in how weak I really am. Had I not had the guide with me, I would have given up and went back down the mountain and never seen the awesome sight I saw as I zip lined down the mountain from platforms to platform.
This is an experience I will never forget. My guide told me that one man on the the zip line team climbed this mountain 9 times. My guide also told me the oldest person to climb the mountain was 92 years old. I would have been embarrassed to let a 92 year old beat me out.
Life has become more bearable knowing that I climb the mountain daily, but that my Guide, The Holy Spirit, is with me telling me that I am almost to the top, asking to let Him carry my burden, and encouraging me to sit and rest while when the mountain has the better of me.