Not Yet Begun To Climb

24 Sep

IMG_4043Several months ago, while visiting the Gheralta Mountain area of northern Ethiopia, I embarked on a mountain climbing adventure with some friends.  The picture shows the very beginning of the assent.   At our first rest stop, everybody looked at the old guy and asked how I was doing.  I rehearsed the story of John Paul Jones and his famous quote but changed it slightly to fit our occasion, “I have not yet begun to climb.”  So for the rest of the climb when anybody felt fatigue setting in, they would spout, “I have not yet begun to climb.”

Perseverance in any task at times can seem daunting.    Emotions and psychology play the bigger part even in the cases of tasks which  require physical endurance.  Sometimes the perseverance is not physical.  So much so that we have coined a number of phrases: pressing on,  holding out, persistently endure,  hands to the plow, and keeping our nose to the grindstone.  But what about spiritual perseverance? While on the upward trail, do we ever encourage ourselves with, “I have not yet begun to climb!”…or serve, or overcome discouragement, or resist evil.

When we become spiritually weary, what is it that we share with ourselves to encourage hope in our own hearts that the struggle is worth the sacrifice.  When we are emotionally down, do we focus on the steepness of the trail in front of us or look behind to see how far we will tumble if we fail?  When we were on the mountain, it was hand-hold following hand-hold and foot-hold after foot-hold, focusing on what was in front of our faces.  Present challenge matched by present grace.

John Paul Jones’ ship was aflame and going down when he uttered his famous courageous phrase.  We summon equal spiritual courage from an ever faithful Father.  We continue on the steep and thorny way, and share hope with your hearts, “We have not yet begun to climb!” Forever we praise His name!

3 Responses to “Not Yet Begun To Climb”

  1. Vanessa September 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Romans 5:3-4
    “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope”

    Love you soooo much!

  2. Brenda September 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    AMEN & AMEN!!! 🙂

  3. Klint September 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm #


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