Climbing the "moderately strenuous" class 2 mountain trail from Summit Lake to the peak of Mt. Evans is a formidable challenge, especially with 8 high school students who had never climbed a 14er before, yet the lessons are invaluable and life-enduring. Parts of the trail and the high altitude lack of oxygen clearly required every bit of strength and determination each one physically possessed. Encouragements like ''just take one step at a time" and "hug the boulder" were priceless in helping each one move through some of the more difficult assents and ledges.
Why climb the mountain? The standard somewhat flippant reply is "because it is there." However, a better answer is that inside of man there is a drive to overcome and to know that he can accomplish his goals. Ultimately the fruit of all labor is the prize at the end. In this case, after 4 hours of trekking across uneven terrain, steep ascents, and even more frightening descends, we were able to see an awesome view of the peaks of the continental divide and the wide beautiful valleys. Nothing compares to a first-hand experience of the majestic picture that the mountainous rocks and trees paint.
Cartoonist Schultz has Charlie Brown saying that everyone needs to lay down and look up at the stars to see how insignificant he is. The reverse is also true with the majestic grandeur of a mountain top view. One can get a glimpse of how God sees His creation and all He has done to provide extravagantly for us. The only conclusion is a powerful realization of how precious and important we must be to God.
Nothing satisfies like a task completed. In this case, being able to climb a 14er stands as a giant fortress and lasting monument that each one can tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges one step at a time and hugging the rock that doesn't move in the hard places. So go climb your mountain (whatever and wherever it is). Sometimes the hardest task may be the very thing that causes the most growth and lasting results. Very much like James 1:2 which says to count it joy when trials come because God can use them to make us stronger. As we push forward and step by step overcome, God plants His unshakeable foundation in our heart that with His help you can and will make it. Have you hugged your boulder today?