Several years ago I gave myself a minor challenge. We lived in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Very scenic indeed. Big hills – deep valleys… hmmm… quite metaphorical, don’tcha think?
It was my birthday, but very mild for the end of January, almost no snow (shocking!) Across the road from us was one of those big hills. The crest of which was 600 feet higher than our yard (BIGGGG hill)
For my “workout” that day, I decided to climb to the top. (“The bear went over the mountain – to see what he could see…” “What do you think he saw…?”) Well, he had to get there first…
When I said “climb” – I had no idea how literal that word would be. It was way steeper than I realized. My climb became very strategic. Find a flat spot, gather my bearings, and plan how I would get the next few feet. I would grasp a tree trunk to pull myself up, then anchor my feet against its base, or rest my back against the up-side of it to keep from losing ground – or even tumbling back down.
Then rinse and repeat.
Along the way, I saw a few deer trails – flat, narrow little highways that stretched like horizontal ribbons of chocolate syrup across a mini-mountain of ice cream.
Rocky road ice cream, of course.
And I could tell they were deer highways – they had… rest areas, if you know what I’m saying.
Onward and upward… ever slower. Some of the toughest terrain was near the top – steeper, fewer trees to cling to. More metaphor…
But I made it. Took almost half an hour. But when I got there…
(“What do you think he saw-aww, what do you think he saw…?”)
Looking to the north I could see Keuka Lake – one of the Finger Lakes. The southern tip of it was about six miles from my house, but from that perspective, I could see several miles of its length – and the beautiful valley that led to it.
I just stood and surveyed, feeling a bit “Lewis and Clark.” Wow. By climbing 600 feet, I had gained several miles of perspective. Talk about metaphorical!
Climbing much harder than I’d planned, encountering obstacles I didn’t expect, thus problem solving along the way, I had reached my goal – and gained a whole new perspective.
Sheesh – I’m starting to sound like Zig Ziglar or something… but these are words I need to hear myself say…
Real reflections …of a scenic scenario …full of meaningful metaphor.
Habakkuk 2:1 says, “What’s God going to say to my questions?… I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how he’ll answer…”
I’m coming to believe that, if faith is “being assured of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” then perhaps we need to climb up a little higher – and scan a bigger horizon – expecting to see His plan – to see what we’re hoping for…
And please – it’s NOT that the higher and harder we climb, the more we earn His favor. No no no!!! Please don’t think that’s what I’m saying!!! Let the legalists settle for earning their “hill-climbing” merit badges.
Climbing up a little higher just makes it easier it is to scan the horizon…
…and perhaps, easier to find His answers? “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?”
Let me know what you think.
And I’ll let ya know how it goes.
But for now, I’ll grab a tree, pull myself up, and “see what I can see.”