Until 1953 no human being had ever set foot on the summit of Mount Everest; lots of groups had tried to reach the top of the 29, 970 feet mountain, but failed. But early in 1953 a British Everest Expedition completed plans to conquer this mountain.
This group consisted of experienced climbers such as Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and numerous porters.
Now before setting out everyone underwent a thorough training and preparation. Extensive planning determined the best strategy with alternate courses of action. Finally everyone was ready and determined to succeed. The group was prepared for a journey full of dangers.
As they began to proceed up the mountain the challenge became much tougher than expected. Snow blindness, frostbite, exhaustion and other setbacks thinned the ranks. Discouragement crept in. Dangers multiplied the closer they got to the summit.
The whole expedition considered turning back. Every step could give way to a hidden crevice. Or a severe snowstorm could cause the whole group to perish. But a few of the climbers remained optimistic; their vision was to reach the top, and nothing could deter them.
Finally on May 29, 1953 Hillary and Tenzing were within several hundred steep yards of the summit. This was to be the most significant day in their lives. One by one, those few last yards became the most demanding and risky steps of the climb.
Driving by a constant vision of victory, the two men persevered. Finally their dream became a reality, the goal was accomplished.
What makes people go through such hardships, agony and sacrifice? All this was endured in the name of adventure!
Believe it or not, true adventure directly parallels the Christian way of life. But how many people in God’s Church see their calling as a burden to bear. James tells us to “Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2). But what is there to rejoice about in a difficult situation? What kind of attitude does it take to find joy in the loss of a job, sickness, or family rejection?
Christian living is a challenge: Paul tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
Jesus tells us “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that lead to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Now, true Christians live in a world that is opposed to the way of life that God has revealed to His Church. The Church stands as a small army against great odds. The wrong influences of the world are everywhere, and we must contest against our own human nature.
Not only that but we must, (just like Jesus Christ did), with God’s help, fight Satan himself, who with legions of demons are determined to make us forfeit the crown of life. As we can see, the Christian way of life, like any real exciting adventure, demands much struggle against great odds. True adventure requires a willingness to undergo difficulties.
Every mountain climber knows that each expedition demands physical sacrifice. It may mean several days of dangling from ropes, sleeping and eating in cramped spaces, suffering frostbite and enduring bone-chilling coldness.
If we will notice; Paul’s Christian life was full of difficulties: “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwrecks, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeying’s often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea. In perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (II Cor. 11:24-28).
All adventure has the expectation of victory. No leader of a mountain-climbing expedition can afford to expect anything but successful accomplishment. Negativism crunches morale, the vision of victory is lost.
The Christian way of life is difficult, but we must deeply know that victory is possible. Paul expected victory – and as we all know, Paul won. We can also, we have Jesus Christ on our side, and with Him everything is possible.
Consider every bruise and scrape as a part of the price. We must struggle on for the thrill of supreme accomplishment, that being a Son of God. There is no adventure greater than the Christian life. See you at the top!