“The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses up to the top of the mountain.” – Exodus 19:20
I like high places. I’m scared of them. And I like them.
When I was a boy, if I saw a tree, I’d want to climb it. In college, I found a way up to the top of at least half the buildings on campus. If there is a rock, a cliff, or a mountain…yep, I want to get to the top.
And by the word “top", I mean “up”… as in, I want to get as high up as is possible for me. I don’t mean it in the sense that I have to be the best as compared to the people around me. While I’ve got some competitiveness in me, and I like to be good at stuff, I’ve not really needed to be the best. For this I’m grateful.
Spiritually, I can’t think of a time that I haven’t longed to be with God. I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t, in some way, climbing to the highest place in order to get some glimpse of Him.
I’ve come to accept this as a calling. A calling from God to meet Him. It has been the adventure of my life - Confusing, glorious, disturbing, and romantic. It’s unlike anything I can think of. It provides some of the oddest paradoxes:
- It can have me in the deepest relationships possible with people and still lonely.
- It sometimes has me running to people to meet God, and other times from people to meet God.
- Successful spiritual encounters, as such, are fleeting. But so are failures and setbacks.
- He can be far and close at the same time.
In all of my climbing, I have learned one profoundly useful truth:
The highest height that I can reach with all of my strength, will, determination, and might in order to meet God would still require a much longer journey of descent from God Himself if I would meet with Him.
There is something both frustrating and comforting in this. I’m glad to say that the frustrating part is fading away, and only the comfort will remain.
As I continue in the “mountain climbing” of a three-week sabbatical given to me by my loving church, I gladly exert all my heart, soul, mind and strength in an ascent for just the chance that He will descend and meet me at the top.
And for all of you, my fellow journeyers who are making the trip, who have belief enough to engage in the great Christian adventure, you inspire and fuel me in mine, and I look forward to our seasonal meetings along the way.