Mountain climbing may not be for the fainthearted, but neither is it for the lone ranger. It is one thing to go hiking in the wooded mountains with a compass, a canteen, and some beans and weenies. To reach nosebleed heights on the highest of mountain peaks, it is never wise to go it alone.
Last week, Sir Edmund Hillary’s story inspired and I hope challenged each of us as we consider our own Mt. Everest God has designed just for us. Tucked in Sir Edmund’s saga of a conquering spirit and physical fortitude is the gift of another helper…
A Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, was Hillary’s guide and companion. He had grown up with Mt. Everest in his backyard; no doubt his mountain skills were honed on the lower slopes of the great peak. Beyond his skills, though, Tenzing brought with him the additional contribution Edmund Hillary would need – strength and a positive spirit, sharpened as one of an elite force of expedition assistants.
A web encyclopedia entry shares that Tenzing later wrote in his autobiography, Tiger of the Snows, “We look up. For weeks, for months, that is all we have done. Look up. And there it is – the top of Everest. Only it is different now: so near, so close, only a little more than a thousand feet above us. It is no longer just a dream, a high dream in the sky, but a real and solid thing, a thing of rock and snow, that men can climb. We make ready. We will climb it. This time, with God’s help, we will climb on to the end.”
As I read those words, my heart was smitten with the fact that when God gives a dream, it becomes the reality of a future day. Tenzing and Hillary climbed the mountain in the only way a mountain can be successfully taken. They looked up, and kept looking up. No matter how long it took, they looked up.
How like their physical expedition is our spiritual journey. We have been given the gift of “another Helper,” the precious Holy Spirit, expedition assistant extraordinaire.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever…” (John 14:16 AMP)
Hillary needed Tenzing’s help. Tenzing understood they needed God’s help. God knew they needed each other. And He knew they needed Him. Together, they could climb. Together with Him, they could conquer.
God also knew we would need a Hillary and Tenzing to remind us that “a high dream in the sky” is obtained by faith in action, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) Solid substance, rock steady and real. That is Mt. Everest faith.
The kind of faith God rewards with possession of the real thing.