A year ago, I was in Anchorage, Alaska with a group of amazing people, serving Jesus. When you’re surrounded by mountains as rugged as those in Alaska, what can you help but do during free time but go and hike some? The group I was with made it to the top of Flattop Mountain outside of Anchorage; 3,510 high mountain, about 1,280 vertical feet from where we started. 

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View from the top of Flattop Mountain, Anchorage, Alaska.

Three years ago, I experienced my first mountains in a small town called Kamloops, nestled within the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, Canada. Their beauty was enrapturing, so guess where my group was during free time? That’s right-on the trails. One of the nights, we were able to climb up some pretty intense trails that led to a peak where we were blessed with an absolutely breathtaking view.

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Group halfway up.

 

 

My time spent on mountains remains as some of my most priceless memories. Every time

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Literally having to run up the mountain.

I would hike back down, along with feeling exhausted, I’d feel such a deep satisfaction and happiness, something I never gained from a less exerting hike. It was exhilarating.

I think as humans, we so frequently coast through life, avoiding the mountains and instead choosing to walk across flat land. While this might lead to an adequate time here on earth, I don’t think living a challenge free life is truly thriving; you’re simply just surviving. We were created for so much more.  

When the mountains of my life loom in front of me, it is tempting to dodge the climb and simply walk around. Yet, living without challenge isn’t fulfilling. It is the hard points, the points where I have to fight and climb and crawl to the top to see the view, those are the points where I truly see my purpose.

We weren’t created for stagnant living. We weren’t created for comfort. Jesus didn’t live a comfortable lifestyle; he let his followers know that they’d be abandoning all they were familiar with in the pursuit of him. We were created for risk, adventure. We were created to pursue new challenges, climb new mountains, glorify God in radical ways.

We are called to live radical lives, not comfortable ones. I think that’s why I love mountains so much. Every time I’m around them, I’m reminded that even though the challenges and risks I face in my life can loom in front of me and seem never ending, the view from the top is always worth it. Fall in love with the joy of the climb; watch your life change.

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