Monday, May 14, 2012

Remember who you are, and keep moving

Some days seem like they are all about climbing up hill-- some days, some seasons, some years, perhaps. For some of us the climb is arduous, but beautiful.  For others, it is murky and muddy and we seem to slip backward a step for every one or two upwards. I suspect that we all, Gentle Reader, have to ask ourselves how to keep climbing when we are too weary, when the top of the climb is still beyond our view, when we are yet again at the bottom looking up at what seems insurmountable.

I was reminded during a sermon yesterday about the section of Pilgrim's Progress where Hopeful and Christian decide to take a seemingly easier way, and discover themselves in the end in the deepest, darkest dungeon of Doubting Castle, held captive by the Giant Despair.  They are miserable in that dungeon for quite a while before they remember that they had the key to get out of the dungeon all along.  Bunyan was a master at capturing our lives in this fallen place. And whether our climb is glorious or muddy, the hard work will be made easier if we remember one thing: who we are. Paul Tripp puts it this way:
Child of the Most High God was my cross-purchased identity. Member of the body of Christ was my identity. Man in the middle of his own sanctification was my identity. Sinner, and still in need of rescuing, transforming, empowering, and delivering grace was my identity.
Sometimes I slip on my climb because I think I've arrived at my destination, when I still have far to go.  Sometimes I despair because I can't see the end of the climb and I'm already tired.  And sometimes I'm so busy worrying about how I look in my climbing clothes that I forget what that the purpose is to keep moving rather than just posing for pleasing pictures. But if I remember I am not a professional mountain climber, instead I am a child of the Maker of the Mountain and its glories are my inheritance, I am more likely to keep moving. And if I can fix my eyes on Christ, and His grace to me, instead of how stupid I look in my climbing gear, or how awkward I appear to others, I am less likely to be discouraged.

So on we journey to the top of the mountain. We may fall and need rescuing, but our Heavenly Father has a plan for that already.  All we have to do is remember who we are, keep moving.

1 comment:

Jenifer Hanson said...

Loved this post, Chris. Beautifully written, and so true.