Sunday, March 30, 2008

Climb Every Mountain

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I remember from my youth the song that included the words of this weeks thoughts. The words come from a popular song from the “Sound of Music”. Being able to climb every mountain, ford every stream and follow every rainbow, till we find our dreams seems much too fantastic for life. But as always there is some element of truth to the words found there. I have spent much of my life as I have told you in the past following paths of adventure or trying to fulfill dreams, and not always with a great deal of success. I have more than once gotten side-tacked by the needs arriving out of life, family the workplace.

Some years ago, well about 25 in fact, I was invited to go to Africa with a pastor who served in Lockeport at the time. He was here studying at Acadia Divinity College and was looking forward to going back to help the struggling pastors in he own country. As it turned out he did convince me so well of God’s call on my life that I entered Pastoral Ministry and never did get to go to Africa. Many time I have felt the gnawing question of what if I had gone in my younger years. But there have been other direct calls on my life and to each, like you, I have dealt with the enduring question of God’s direct call and will foremost beyond any personal longings.

Well, wouldn’t you know this past week I received another invitation to go on a mission. I was laid up with an nasty ailment and unable to get out and lo and behold in the mail came an opportunity which I just couldn’t seem to shake off. The more I tried to name the reasons why it was both an unreasonable and untimely request, the more the Lord seemed to lay upon my heart the most likely answers to them. I have never challenged God too far and He has never let me down. It was a request to travel to Northwest Bengal (Yup... India) to help train some 100 nationals (Pastors) in Spiritual Walk, Homiletics, and Discipleship or a topic of their choice. I am not a Scholar, but love to teach so I guess the Lord can use even me if I am willing.

I know that I am going to get some flack from certain areas of my life. Yet, the Churches seem to embrace the idea of my going and most seemed thrilled that I was asked and that I would consider the trip. It is not my hearts desire to travel in Winter, away from family and the work at hand, but this seemed like something that must be done and who am I to question, so I am prepared for the nay-sayers when they arrive.

About those mountains though. I have seen mountains of many varieties in my life. While some were so spectacular that they were breath-taking, others were just downright frightening. I have come away on occasion with the feeling that awe is good, smarts are better and prayer is always the best. I used to fling myself into the work of climbing whatever was before me. I never equated going around as anything anymore than defeat or lack of trust. But age brings a touch of wisdom and now I am more likely now to measure the climb before I start, a lot more than I used to. Measuring is not always consideration of calculated risk, it is more often the perspective from which I view the mountain and where God stands in the mix.

This mountain I am about to climb is a tall one indeed and not just because I may be in eyesight of Mount Everest as some point. There are always those calculated risks and how much I am willing to risk for first God and then others may be the measure of my personal stamina for Him. I have come this far and sometimes I am weary and tired with every inch of my body crying out for strength, courage and comfort. Yet, He has never let me down... I am sure of that. I have taken the easy road quite often as well and He has let me know in many ways that easy is not always correct. Could it have something to do with Jesus’ and His command.... “... take up thy cross daily and follow me”? So I am off to climb a much different mountain this time. One that will take me to the other side of the world not just in location, but in culture and economic status as well. I am praying that this will be to God’s glory and the furtherance of His Kingdom that I go.

Today you can pray for me as I prepare to take this giant step in my life toward my biggest mountain yet. The bill is large both economically and physically, but God is up to the task. If God has a mountain for you to climb today, ask Him why and then remember to wait for the answer... it may surprise you what He has in store for you and others.