It is always a different view in a ‘climb’. It is one thing to look up to matters in life and another to look down from a vantage point. In the longest climb in my life, I have understood that it is one thing to see a mountain on a post card and it very different to attempt a climb to it.
Before all that, I remember standing with a pack of young men, mostly IT boys, and telling them that I too want to clear the medical fitness for the climb. Any climb involves fitness. And, running in my early 40s, I was afraid of being sent home. Meeting the screening personal, I told him that I have a heart for it, a spirit for it. “Give me a chance and I will do it”, I told him. He took me into the team.
What happens on a climb? One important aspect of any climb is the sheer effort we give to it and the reward... the relaxation we get. But more than the physical exertion, more than the flexing of the muscular system, the climb is often a pilgrimage. For me, the climb is an escape into wilderness where I can forget everything for days... forget everything but the closeness of God...that God is just ‘around’. The climb is a touchstone experience that tells me that God is intimately involved with life and creation.
But how to transpose this ‘climb experience’ from wilderness to my city living? When my calling is to dwell in a city, I must bring down the ‘top of the world’ moments to the seashores of my heart.