Thursday, April 23, 2015

A New Adventure Pt. 13- Keep Climbing

                For our 10th wedding anniversary (ten years ago) my husband and I took a trip to the Smokey Mountains. We rented a little condo nestled in the mountains of Tennessee and made our plans to visit as many of the waterfalls as possible. Tennessee and North Carolina have some of the most beautiful waterfalls, and they are worth the climb to get to them. One of the waterfalls that I particularly wanted to see was at the top of one of the highest mountain ranges. It was a very steep hike to the top, not to mention that about ¾ of a mile from the top there were rocks that you had to climb before you could see anything. Me, being the adventurous and more active of the two of us walked ahead and started to climb. I was pretty sure I could do this, no problem.
              However, when I got to the rock face, I realized that the water coming from the stream overhead, would splash over the rocks from time to time, making them slippery. There was also moss and algae in areas to add to the fall risk if you weren't paying attention. The quick climb over these rocks became a slow, decisive climb so that I didn’t slip and bust open my head on the mountain trail below me. I knew that if I just kept climbing and was careful where I placed my hands and feet I would eventually reach the top to see that waterfall waiting for me. I did not lose heart.
                These past few days have been very overwhelming to say the least. I met with our bank yesterday to start the financing for our expansion, and I also talked with the county and city to get the paperwork for permits, and all that other good stuff we have to have. However, it seems like the more I do for the business, the more I have left to do. It’s like I am walking on my treadmill not going anywhere, just walking in the same place over and over again. I feel like I am losing my grip and I am going to fall off this mountain if I am not careful. Trust me when I tell you that I literally have mounds of paperwork to fill out, and each one of them has a different deadline. My heart is overwhelmed. But in the midst of all these permits, paperwork, estimates and financial statements, and trying to run the business, I hear a small voice whisper in the depths of my soul. “Do not lose heart, do not grow weary.”
                “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
                Climbing mountains and scaling rock faces is not for the faint-hearted, and neither are these adventures we are on. I had a desire to see that waterfall, and no matter how difficult the climb was, I was not about to let it stop me. I had to wisely and decisively make sure I was taking the right step. One wrong step and I would have fallen off to the trail below. But, I did not lose heart.
            Sitting before me are mountains of things to do, and my heart is overwhelmed. But the Lord keeps reminding me to not grow weary; it will be worth it, if I don’t lose heart. All of us who are walking on these new adventures are going to have these moments, moments in our journey’s when our paths come across these mountains. We know that if we can just get to the top it is all downhill from here. But the size and the scale of the rocks before us can seem daunting, causing us to want to just give up. But, let me encourage you, do not lose heart. Do not grow weary, there is a waterfall at the end, and it is worth it.
                There are going to be many mountains on our journeys, and we cannot let a single one of them stand in our way. We are going to have to hike, and climb, and carefully consider each and every step. But, we must remember that our God, who put us on this path, is also the One who will help us over the rocks before us, if we do not lose heart. He will show us where to put our feet, and where to grab a hold so we can pull ourselves up. Keep climbing my fellow hiker, do not lose heart.
                One of the ways He is showing me to climb this mountain before me is to think about what I spend my time on. I will be honest and admit that these past two days have been filled with distractions. (Remember what we learned about distractions? But, some of these distractions have been of my own making. There are times when I am tired and I just want to sit down in front of my TV and escape reality. I want to watch anything and everything that will turn my brain into a vegetable for a few hours. But then I am reminded of how little time I spent on His word today, or how little time I spent on the things He has shown me need to be finished for the business, and I know that if I want to get over this mountain, I have to carefully consider where I put my foot next. In the recliner, in front of my TV is not a good place for these feet of mine.
                Just like a rock climber who wisely considers his next foothold, or his next finger hold, we too must wisely consider the time we are spending and what we are spending it on. I am a list maker, and a schedule maker. I like to have a plan of attack, not that I always follow it, but I like to have one. However, I have learned over the years that no matter how many plans I may have made for the day, God is still God and He has ultimate control over every single minute. I am not saying that we have to become rigid and set to a routine in regards to how we spend our time. But I do think that we who are on these new adventures need to wisely consider what we spend our time on. We will never get to the top of the mountain if we keep sitting down on the way up. Nor will we ever reach the top if we are bogged down with the backpack of distractions.
            Sometimes we are going to need to just say no. If we don’t learn this two letter word then eventually we may find ourselves overwhelmed and losing our grip on the rocks before us. Much of the work that will be before us on these journey’s is going to seem arduous, and time consuming, but we must remember that there is a waterfall at the top, we just have to keep climbing. I believe the Lord wants to encourage us today to keep working, keep climbing, and do not lose heart. It is in these moments when we must hang on and not grow weary, for in due season we will reap. It may look like we are not getting anywhere, but if we can just stay focused on the next foot hold and the next finger rest then we will eventually get to the top. Keep climbing my fellow hiker. Consider your time wisely and manage the gift of time you have been given, because at the end of this mountain is a waterfall just waiting to be discovered. Keep climbing. Amen.