Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mountain Climbing

Mountains. Beautiful, majestic, breathtaking. But deadly to the ill prepared.

Spiritual mountains can be the same. The climb to the peak challenges you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Any lack of self discipline becomes glaringly obvious. Either you're fit for the journey when you start out, or fit by the time you reach the summit!     Few people stand where the air is thin and the view expansive.

Each night, camp is made, in as sheltered a spot as can be found.  But the next morning finds the team packed and climbing again.

I wonder if sometimes we're like Abraham's father, Terah, who began the journey with his son to Canaan. When Terah was about seventy he fathered three sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran fathered a son named Lot, but in Genesis 11:28 we learn that Haran died before his father, Terah.

So Terah packs up shop, and begins the journey with Abram and his wife Sarai, and his grandson Lot, and heads for Canaan. But along the way, they came to a town named Haran (his dead son's name), and settled there. For Terah, the journey is over.  He died in Haran.

Haran. I know I've been there.

Rendered breathless by a painful place in my life. Felt the scab of an old wound ripped open. Buried hopes, dreams, even friendship. Who would ever want to stop there? But we do. We set up camp. An altar maybe, to the idol of agony.

Maybe it's settling for the ordinary. The familiar, the mediocre.  After all, do we really need to be self-disciplined?  It's hard work.  And life is so busy!   Is good health really that important?  My body, "the temple of the Holy Spirit" stuff is just extreme.  And God is blessing me!  Surely that means I'm right where I should be?

And so we stay, right where we are, instead of moving to the higher place that God has for us.

Every one travels through Haran.

How long we stay is up to us.

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