“Careful. One wrong step is all it takes.” That’s a sentence you’re likely to hear if you’re climbing a mountain. Climbing can be treacherous; you never know what might throw off your balance.
Maybe the branch you’re grabbed onto has snapped and thrown you backwards, maybe the air has blown a bit too hard and tipped you over.
However, you always feel safe when both feet are on the ground. You always feel secure when you know what’s under them and what will happen next.
I want to tell you, friends, this is an excellent metaphor for life. Sometimes simply living it can feel like scaling a mountain. It’s tricky and treacherous and any wrong step can put you in a world of hurt.
Don’t get stuck
When we’re climbing this mountain called Life we need to always be checking ourselves. Just like you’d never want your foot to be stuck during a long trek, so do you not want some part of you stuck in life. An ugly part of your personality, a problematic relationship which has no resolution, even a religious adherence to pattern and rules.
God intends to free His children. To refresh our spirits and take us to Him. However, while we’re navigating Life we tend to get ourselves stuck all the time, maybe without even realising it. When a climber does this, they feel the tug on their leg when they try to move forward, and so they stop and address that problem.
In the same way, when we feel some aspect of our own lives is stuck, instead of trying to keep walking – so much so that the stuck part ends up causing much more harm than it should have – we need to be able to stop and fully address which part of ourselves is stuck.
The best way to do this, if you’re having trouble being honest with yourself, is to have someone close to you who you can ask to give an honest opinion of how you seem. Your close friend will help you to see where you’re stuck – which rocks your legs are caught between – and they will help you to pull them out.
Know when to walk forward
I briefly mentioned before that when you’re stuck you don’t want to keep walking, lest you injure yourself or ruin something. It is the same with Life.
If some part of your personality or spirit is stuck and you keep trying to walk forward, you’re going to cause a great deal of pain first to those around you, and then to yourself. And unfortunately, there’ll be no one to point the finger at but you.
Sadly, I’ve had this exact experience this week; hence it is heavy on my heart. But now that I know that I’m stuck, I feel a great sense of connection with God and know how to get myself out of the rocks. I know that I have a Father who loves me and can show me anything and everything.
I know He will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 6). If you want to be the best person you can be… If you want to carry out His mission and see His kingdom come, please, I beg of you, find where you’re stuck. Then and only then, can you move on.
When mountaineers were scaling Everest they said near the peak they could barely walk. They would see the peak probably closer than you are to the mailbox, and it seemed further than the stars. To get there, they didn’t keep their eyes on the peak, they kept their eyes on where they knew they could make it to. For some this looked like five steps ahead of themselves. They would take these five steps then rest, only to do it once more.
It is always important to understand just how many steps you’re capable of taking, and to be completely honest with that. God tells us which mountain to climb - perhaps the mountain of becoming a pastor? – so we must always take care to arrive at the peak alive and still willing.
We can’t turn back, and we can’t lose our way. So look ahead, and know what you can and can’t do. Be honest and be prayerful. Be strong. And very courageous.
God goes with you
God is with me this week. I’ve felt Him more than I have in a long time. I know this is because someone I trusted helped me see that I was stuck. Knowing that helped me to shift my perspective; it helped me to change my lenses.
Now I see the world in a fresh and meaningful way. Now I know that I’m stuck and what to focus on. Now I know what I’ve been doing when I keep trying to push forward with one leg fixed to the floor. And now I know how many steps I can take.
This isn’t a horrible thing to happen – indeed, it’s one of the greatest things I can imagine. Because God loves us all, and He helps us when we are stuck. He helps us to know when to walk forward. And He helps us to know where to look. God believes in you, so please believe in yourself and be blessed.
Josiah Gray lives in Logan City, Australia. He is currently studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and is committed to telling the story of Jesus to the next generation. Josiah’s previous articles may be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josiah-gray.html