A few years ago, I remember hearing an explanation of our Christian walk that went something like this:
We are all climbing a mountain and sometimes we struggle where we are with our climb. When we see people who are farther up the mountain, we can get jealous of them and their climbing accomplishments. At the same time, when we look down the mountain and see others that are not as far as us, it is easy to talk about how far we've climbed above them.
The teacher went on to explain that we need to reach down to those that are climbing below us and help them out. You know? Help them with their climb, so they can be up with us. We need to climb together, because climbing is hard work and it is easy to slip and fall down that mountain. He added a bunch of illustrations about sure footing, climbing up and not sideways, etc...
I'm not a mountain climber. Just going up and down the stairs in my house reminds me of that fact.
I've been wondering and thinking if this is even a good illustration for our walk. I'm beginning to think it's not.
What about an illustration, that we are not climbing AT ALL?
What about an illustration that says Jesus already climbed the mountain for us and there is NOTHING left to climb? That seems like a more appropriate illustration, but it begs the question...what do we do while Jesus climbs?
The simple answer is nothing. How can we add anything to the work Christ accomplished (or in this case the climb He finished).
Follow Christ? Hang onto Christ? I'm hopeless. I will let go and I will wander. It is in my nature to not follow and to let go.
So, what about this illustration: We are not climbing a mountain. Christ climbed the mountain for us. We don't hold on to him. We don't follow him. He holds onto us. He won't let go of us. He takes us up the mountain personally and delivers us to the peak. It's all Him. It's all His effort. We don't add anything to the climbing.
We live under a banner that says, "It is Finished!" Caput. Done. It is Jesus plus nothing.
Quietly making noise,