Navigating Everest Kendall Lankford
May 16, 2018
Recently I was able to watch the movie, Everest. If you have not seen it, I am not going to ruin it for you. But, one of the things I noticed was just how incredibly important oxygen is to a person’s survival. As men and women trek up this giant colossus, the thing that will most likely to kill them is not the wind and the elements, but it is the lack of oxygen in the air. In fact, when you consider that the summit of Mt. Everest is at the cruising altitude of most jetliners, you can understand why thousands suffocate attempting to scale this behemoth of a mountain.
This got me thinking,
how can I navigate a life that often looks like Everest? When the hill I have to conquer is looming over me and mocking me? How can I survive when the air is getting thin? What is going to fill up my tank, so that I am not suffocating under the difficult circumstances I am facing and so I am not disoriented from the elements?
For me, the only thing that keeps me going is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And just so we are all speaking the same language, Gospel just means good news.
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” - Tim Keller
How does this play out in my life?
I showed up 34 years ago at the base of a mountain I could not climb. All of life has been asking me to buy into this dream that if I just work hard enough, then one day I would reach the top. But the truth is, without some outside help, 100 times out of 100 I am going down in a body bag. Like everyone who has come before me, I am not qualified or capable of scaling this life on my own, and without some grace driven help I would perish. But,
the Gospel tells me that while I was utterly powerless, radio was dead, left shivering and wheezing on a frozen cliff, Christ reached out and gave me His tank. He gave me life even while undergoing the death that I deserved.
And as outrageously good as that gift is, how many times do we forget what He has done? It’s like the climber who gets so disoriented that he loses perspective and drops the tank. All the help he would ever need is sitting right beside of him, but because the elements are raging against him, he forgets to simply take it in. Well in the same way, what Jesus has done for us is not only good enough to save us, but it is also good enough to satisfy us for the life ahead.
You do not have to feel like your suffocating. You do not need to feel like you are all alone. Remember constantly what Jesus has done for you and it will provide even more relief to you than oxygen on Everest.
"Never let go out of your minds the thoughts of a crucified Christ." Let these be food and drink unto you; let them be your sweetness and consolation, your honey and your desire, your reading and your meditation, your life, death, and resurrection.” – Thomas Brooks
Reflections from my reading in "Precious Remedies Against Satan'sDevices" By Thomas Brooks