Hello! This is my 1st post on this wonderful site, and I wanted to share a few things. My name is Helicon, and I am friends with many of the contributors on this site. After living in Santa Barbara for the past 11 years, I moved back to the Bay Area to pursue a calling into vocational ministry. I have been blessed with having my eyes opened to an ever widening view of the world and how the Christian is to live in it via what I learn through serving in Fremont/Bay Area, through my studies at Western Seminary, and from talking to many amazing people up here. Over the past 9 months, I have been learning about the amazing length and width of God’s grace, and over the past few months, I have been learning about the amazing height and depth of His grace. It is truly, truly humbling. For my first post, I am sharing a post from my own blog that I felt would be a good segue into actively posting here. May my thoughts encourage and motivate you to continue to fight the good fight, and run the race.
The mountain illustration was borne out of hearing an old Chinese proverb, and probably some random illustration about climbing mountains that either just came up during a conversation or I heard it from a random sermon. It applies to the Christian walk and about the different places a Christian may find themselves at in their journey of growing closer to God. Mind you, this is not a catch-all and does not cover the full magnitude of God’s grace in regards to the Christian walk, but somehow, it applies so well in many ways.
I liken the Christian life like a mountain and the land around that mountain. All over the area whether on the mountain or at the bottom of the mountain, people have settled down and found places to live in a city at the base of the mountain. For the majority of the people, they have found living at the base of the mountain in the fertile area to be home and never venture to climb that mountain. They are Christian, and it is totally fine to live at the base of the mountain; the utter complexity and sheer variations of things to do keeps those that are there satisfied and content.
And then, there are those that find that amidst the busyness of life and their surroundings, there is a mountain that calls out to them and beckons them to see things from a different perspective, and so curious, these people end up climbing the mountain. For those that climb, the majority become exhausted at different lower altitudes and decide to settle down. They find that where they settle, the view is amazing and that is about as high as they want to go. What they notice is that the higher they climb up this mountain, the less people there are, and the more incredible view is revealed of the world. These people find contentment to settle down and live at this altitude with less people, and the most beautiful view of the valley below as everything stretches out below. People look like ants, the nuances and physical geography of the world in the valley lays stretched out below for one to see from this higher vantage point. A whole different environment is found at this point, and requires some different habits. They are Christian, and it is fine to live at this height; the utter complexity and sheer variations here also keep these people satisfied and content.
Finally, there are those that have found that they would like to see the peak and see everything. This spark of curiosity gives them this restlessness to not stop climbing. It pushes them and though the journey up this mountain gets more difficult with the higher altitude, their insatiable hunger to get closer to the top keeps them moving. At these heights, the people they meet are fewer and far between. At this height, vegetation and animal life is sparse because at this point, nothing wants to live so exposed to the elements. The only thing that would draw a person up is that pure desire to see that peak and its incredible view. The climb is starting to consist of steep vertical climbs, and it is true that the higher you go, the higher and greater the potential of a fall. Tools, stamina, discipline are now required to ascend higher. Yet as one takes a break at these dizzying heights, they see the sheer beauty of God’s creation stretched below and reaching all the way to the horizons. They see the incredible variation of God’s Kingdom, the majesty of His creation, the way the rivers have been formed, the way the canyons have been etched into the surface of the earth, and one starts to catch a glimpse of that breadth, length, height, and depth of the fullness of God. They are Christian, and it is fine to live at this height; the utter complexity and sheer variation here keeps these people amazed and utterly speechless.
This image can not be seen with a two dimensional mentality of a mountain and its surrounding area because there are so many different sides to this mountain and there are so many different ways to climb this mountain. It is in this sheer convolutedness that I picture my personal climb with God. I have had chances to stay in the valley, and I have had many chances to stop climbing, but some insatiable hungering and thirsting after a righteousness and closeness to God keeps drawing me to take steps forward. It is as I have climbed that I have noticed this need for equipping and being more disciplined to further along the climb. It is in these moments that as I have walked with lesser and lesser friends (as they have chosen to stop) that I noticed that this climb is so hard, but that curiosity and desire to see more and more of Him and His majesty draws me further up. Every time I stop and take a look across the plains and at what stretches forth, I find that it is so incredibly beautiful and amazing. I kind of want to settle down close to some of my friends, BBQing, and just remain there chillaxing, but then a voice in me asks… have you seen Me from up there? Have you seen everything you have to see yet? I can’t say no, and so I climb further. Along the way, I have started to shed the random equipment that is unnecessary for the climb. It is only the tools and physical supplies that I need… and as I climb, a few friends I have met up at this point, and for some that have climbed with me together for awhile… recently, as our lives have started to separate due to distance and different callings and seminaries to go to, I sadly part ways with one of my closest and best friends, as he chooses to ascend the mountain from a different point. Memories of laughter, of sharing prayers, and struggles and our hopes and dreams… I am sure that there will be a time when we will see each other higher up, but it is always the hardest to say good bye.
It is up at these heights that recently, I have felt the utter loneliness of this climb. I have Him always, but He is not physically tangible though I know He is with me because everything I see, I catch glimpses of His handiwork, and He has blessed me with this appetite for Him that I just can not seem to sate. Yet, it is in this climb that I notice that when I stop, I long and crave for someone to be beside me to experience the view and the climb. At this point, I believe that having someone to climb with is important because what if I fall, or get hurt? There is so much fun in this climb and adventure which also consists of a lot of work, but there will be times where when one stops, I want to be able to turn around and say to the person beside me… look at this amazing view… isn’t it wonderful? To strive and to fight and to climb together… to have someone to encourage you when it is hard, and to have someone you may encourage or help … is that not a wonderful feeling? The climb offers no security besides the security that God offers. He is our Sole Provider, and He sustains us. Who knows what tomorrow brings? Who knows where the next step is? But I tell you, the view is incredible, and it will daily be an adventure. It will be fraught with dangers and it will be hard, but He will always be beside us and He will never let us go. Will you climb with me?