Today's Devo is more of a reflection on a memory that came back to me while I was on vacation. I hope it is meaningful.
When I was thirteen years old, I hiked up Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs--from the base to the summit on a Saturday in August.
It was part of a church youth group adventure, but what was designed to be something the group did together quickly devolved into smaller factions who were determined to go their own way.
My friend David and I hiked alone. We had no water, no food, no real equipment, either. When I think about it now, I realize how crazy that was.
And here's something fascinating... When you stand at the foot of the mountain, you can't see the top. It was only trees and a seemingly endless incline of rocks and hills.
That climb was truly an adventure, especially when we got above the timberline, where trees wouldn't grow and the air was so thin even native Coloradans like me couldn't walk more than 100 yards without taking a break.
But the lack of food, and something that was in the stream water we drank made my friend sick and weak. A high schooler from our group met up with us and had to carry my friend on his back the last bit of the climb.
And it snowed. Harder than a winter's day. I almost walked off the edge of a cliff because the visibility was so bad.
But then we broke through the clouds and reached the summit where we found a coffee house that had hot chocolate and doughnuts. I had just enough money for both of us and we sat at the counter eating and drinking.
It felt like communion.
On the ride down the mountain, we heard that some of the members of our group had to be rescued by the rangers because of the snowstorm we had battled through.
I remember looking at David and we laughed together. It wasn't that we were mocking the unfortunate members of our group for not fighting their way to the top. We laughed because we had made it.
If you are facing a mountain today and all you can see of the summit is clouds, insurmountable cliffs, and miles of climbing... If you are struggling through sudden storms as you go, and find yourself weak and weary...
There will be rest when you reach the summit. And maybe there will be help along the way when the way becomes too hard. You are not alone in this. Not by a long shot.
Keep climbing. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.