CHALLENGES WITH CLIMBING
Today is the first day of a big event for Colorado, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It will be historic for at least one reason. The race will include two 12,000 foot passes–Cottonwood (12,126) and Independence (12, 085). The first twelve miles up Cottonwood is on dirt! It will challenge the more than 120 pro racers from 12 nations, chiefly because of an altitude most of these racers are unaccustomed to facing. Performance in that thin of air is necessarily reduced. Bicyclists have to guard against going too fast or too slow. They must find that right “middle gear” and essentially stay in it consistently.
Isn’t that the way it goes? Stay contented in a spiritual rut, traveling the low roads, and you can pretty well coast along. But, strive to climb to new heights and the challenge really begins! Pushing yourself out there to evangelize is uncomfortable and in some cases hard. Being distinct and different from the world when such is demanded by the Bible is difficult. Defending an unpopular Bible truth can be painful! Being an active, involved father and devoted husband can be inconvenient and time-intensive. Involvement in church work, faithfulness to church services, self-discipline in personal spirituality, and the like produce stiff challenges in our “upward call” (Phil. 3:14). Bible terminology calls the “heavenward way” narrow and difficult (Mat. 7:13-14). We need help to make it to that “rock that is higher than” us (cf. Ps. 61:2). The truth is that while climbing those new heights gets easier with practice and experience, it will always be more difficult to reach up to God than to remain content and comfortable in the valley of mediocrity! Accept the challenge of true Christianity and go higher!