Who’s leading your way?
It’s a five kilometer hike up Mount Carleton. On level land at a steady stride about an hour long journey. But climbing 820 meters over a stony trail, then rocks, then boulders, the trek takes much longer. At first the way is marked by tidy blue markers pinned to tree trunks, but then the trees thin, the trunks narrow. Eventually you are guided by the occasional slap of blue paint on a boulder.
It’s good to travel this way the first time with someone who has traversed the way before. Someone who has done so knows the way with greater confidence. They can quicken their pace, not needing to double-check the markers. Their footfall has become accustomed to the uneven way, their muscles more developed for scaling the boulders, lungs more efficient, eyesight more keen.
Yes it’s good to scale the rugged heights with one who knows the way.
But it can be daunting as your leader presses on so assuredly — sometimes advancing faster than your confidence has grown. Courage is needed to the more quickly move forward across spots where you would rather have hesitated… rather have paused till boldness arose.
Yet the thought of dropping pace, of losing sight of the leader, is more fearful than the present moment. Having no other option you uncomfortably press on, praying that soon the difficulty, the relentless advance, might ease.
Habbakuk was familiar with this angst. He wrote,
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled…
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Hab. 3:16-19)
Yes, the way to the Kingdom may be rocky, but a sure Guide goes before us. He says to us, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32). He will make our way sure as well. All we need do is follow Him.
From the summit of Mount Carleton the view is spectacular. On a clear day turning a full 360 degrees they estimate your view falls upon 10 million trees! Looking westward you can see clear to Maine. To the north, Quebec.
Ahead for the faithful lay wonders none can now fathom! “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror,” reminds Paul, “then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12). But there is only One Guide who can bring us there.
I ask you, “Who’s leading your way?”