Raise your hand if you’ve heard the story about your parents walking to school in deep snow, uphill both ways. As children, we were impressed by the hardships our parents overcame. As teens, we rolled our eyes, certain our parents were bonkers. As adults, the story ushers us into deep thought. There’s truth to be gleaned from that old yarn.
As an avid hiker, I do some uphill work. Standing at the base of a steep hill can be intimidating. I anticipate the sense of accomplishment waiting for me, if I can keep my heart in my chest and reach the summit. I expect the view to be spectacular, but I wonder if I have what it takes to conquer. I make up my mind, take the first step, and begin the climb.
Many of life’s experiences seem like a steep grade. I am certain you could add to this list:
- Overcoming a bad habit
- Buying a home
- Saving funds for retirement
- Sending the kids to college
- Living in harmony with certain people
- Conquering chronic health issues
In each case, we should progress as we would on an uphill hike. Here are the steps I follow:
- Start slowly
- Set a reasonable pace
- Rest often
- Occasionally look backward to review progress
- Fix your eyes on the goal
- Keep stepping
Break the journey into parts, and we find a series of single steps.
The top of the mountain is a great place to think. It’s quiet up there. I can reflect on the ways the climb made me stronger.
The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.
Psalm 37:23 (The Living Bible)