Route & Risk

I caught a segment of a TV show this weekend about mountain climbers on Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, located in Alaska. The summit elevation is 20,310 feet with the base to peak rise being the largest of any mountain entirely above sea level.

One of the climbers said to survive and make a successful climb, you must constantly be evaluating two things: the route and the risk.

What is the optimum route to make the most successful climb?

To follow that route, where are the risks and which path has the least?

Here are two truths to take home from the climber’s words.

1—You can’t make a successful climb without taking risks.

Imagine a guy showing up at Denali to meet a team and saying, “Well, if there are risks involved, I’m not climbing!” We have to get honest about how many times we may say, “Well, if taking a stand creates risks, I’m out.” For reputation, relationships, social status, job, whatever. The authentic, real-deal walk with God will always involve risks. There wasn’t a single day the disciples broke camp and said, “Man, today should be a cakewalk. No Pharisee threats, no crowds who don’t like us, and I bet Jesus won’t lead us into anything challenging.”

2—The route to climb the highest will never be the safest.

Jesus said, “Follow me,” He made no promises His road would have no risks. We’ve all heard the story about Peter walking on the water, sinking, and Jesus grabbing him up. Most of the time Peter looks like the butt of that joke and the guys in the boat appear “safe.” But look at it this way—which guy has the story of trying to walk on water after having taken the risk to get to Jesus?

Life is like a Denali climb—different possible routes with lots of risks on any one you choose. The absolute truth is every single route we take led by Jesus and every risk we take in His name will be worth it when we hit the Summit.

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—from where will my help come in times of trouble? The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains will send the help I need. —Psalm 121:1-2 (Voice)

Leave a Reply