Posts Tagged ‘Climbing’



October 13, 2013

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

My comprehension has very distinct limitations.  It has to stretch when I contemplate that which is beyond my experience.  Thoughts of eternity prove to be especially challenging.

My life’s experiences have all included beginnings and endings.

I do not know how a complete story can be told without a beginning.

Without an ending, stories are forced to conclude with an unsatisfying  “to be continued”.

I do not know if a finite mind, born and raised in a terminable land, can truly grasp the infinite.

Inherit in the explanation that Jesus is the same, yesterday and today and forever, is the premise that He is infinite.  He is the same throughout all of time.  He does not change and is without beginning or ending.

Jesus Christ is infinite. 

tj.blackwell / Foter / CC BY-NC

My limited familiarity with the infinite probably resides in the number Pi.  Pi is an infinite, non-repeating number whose value is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter.  It is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction.  Consequently, Pi never ends or repeats. It is also a transcendental number, which implies, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can be equal to its value.(Urban Dictionary: Pi)  Pi is infinity unique.

.sarahwynne. / Foter / CC BY-NC

What if our lives could be expressed as the result a mathematical equation such as Pi?  Consider if every moment of our existence were represented by a Pi like digit.  If our individual existences could be expressed as a mathematical equation, would it be considered rational or irrational?

As a rational number, there will be a final digit.  The long series of digits will come to a calculated end; one last digit and then no more.  There are many people who believe their life is rational.  It has a beginning and it has an ending.  They believe that their experience on this world is all that there is.  They believe that the digits of their life are merely a sequence of statistically random events.  If you were to convert those digits in into ASCII text, there would be no names of loved ones, no dates of significance, and no purpose in death.  They hold that there is no purpose to be found within the finite string of the digits of our lives; life is random and rational.

Stuck in Customs / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

However, what if there is more to our existence than our experience?  What if there is an infinite existence beyond our experience of beginnings and endings?  We know that the infinite exists.  We have the irrational number Pi.

The infinite is irrational.  Rational sense cannot be made of the irrational.  However, just because something is irrational does not mean that it does not exist.

We are told that Jesus Christ is infinite.  That statement is beyond my rational understanding.  So often, we hold the irrational at arm’s length because it troubles our rational sensibilities.  We like to be able to explain things.  We stretch our comprehension and try to grasp an understanding that is beyond all that we have known.  I accept reality that there is infinite existence by faith but that does not mean that be I grasp the full range of mysteries within the statement or that I can relate.  I cannot relate to the infinite.

By faith, I believe what the scriptures tell us.  We are irrational numbers.  The digits of our lives will continue without end, just like Pi.  All of mankind was created as unique irrational numbers.  Just because our bodies may die does not mean that our unique calculation does not continue to generate another digit.  Man was created for eternity with a brief period spent on earth with purpose in every digit.

Consider when Christ  took on flesh.  His life on this earth had a singular purpose – to be the lamb.

He came to fulfill the law.
He came to call sinners to repentance.
He came to be the light in a dark world.
He came to do the will of Him who sent Him.

Every digit of Christ’s life had purpose.  The ASCII text of the digits of Christ’s life would reveal the names of all He touched, all He showed love, all He condemned, the date of the cross, His resurrection and His ascension.  Christ’s digit would show a string of purpose and intent that is without end.  The prophesies fulfilled throughout Jesus’ life demonstrate that His existence was not the result of chance and happenstance.  There was purpose and intention in every digit of Christ’s life.

If God created the equation of Christ’s life on earth with precise meaning and intent in every digit, then why would we think that our lives are random and purposeless?  We were created to be uniquely irrational.  We were created with purpose; a string of digits full of meaning and intention.

We are the product of the great Mathematician.  He created the uniquely irrational equation that describes you and me.  He prescribed in us every digit, in the precise order that He intended.  We were created for the infinite.

I often forget that reality. 

~jjjohn~ / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I often don’t live for the infinite.

Everyone who is in Christ has to come to that point in time when they relinquish themselves to the irrational.  We call it faith.  Our hope resides in the irrational mysteries of Christ.  Our hope is in infinity; that there is more to the life than what we experience.

We need to let our hope be a reality in our daily lives.  Our hope should lead our lives.  We were created for a purpose-filled infinity.  Christ came to do the will of Him who sent Him.  As irrational creations, we were created for the same purpose; to do the will of Him who has called us.

Let’s start living the irrational lives that we were created to live!

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for creating a world that is beyond my comprehension.  Thank you for giving me purpose in world that appears chaotic.  Father, keep infinity in my mind.  Help me to accept the glorious irrationality of faith.  Help me to live in the hope of eternal life.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.



October 10, 2013

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14

Payette-20131008-00168 (3)My eyes have been squinting in study of the progression of the lines on this topographic map.  The serpentine lines represent the topography of various trails on the south side of Mount Rainer National Park.  The close proximity of these lines on paper explain why I felt my heart pound, my calves tighten, and my breathing hasten, as I hiked the various routes.  These trails are steep.  After all, they are on a volcano.

As you might suspect, no trail to the summit of Mount Rainer adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Americans with Disabilities Act legislated to every individual within the United States the entitlement of full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any public place.  This act has been the governing legislation behind the appurtenances, accoutrements, and other eliminated impediments constructed to make the public square universally accessible over the last twenty-three years.

225I am evaluating one Mount Rainer trail to determine if grading improvements are feasible to make the route more accessible to those who are unable to hike the steeper trails of Mount Rainer.  However, this route will not lead to the summit of Mount Rainer.  This trail will skirt the base of the mountain, leading its travelers to a delightful waterfall but not the summit.

This destination will suffice for most hikers since few actually intend to summit Mount Rainer.  The vast majority of hikers are in search of a pleasant day hike.  There are some who desire the challenge of rising over ridges and recovering through valleys but they don’t intend to summit.  A goal of an invigorating day on the mountain suffices as sufficient inspiration.

Other hikers don’t want a challenge and will seek out the easiest trail available.  Often, they are physically incapable of defeating the escalating elevation of a real mountain.  Therefore, they are appeased by beholding waterfalls, towering snow caps and vast forests of the mountain landscape from a distance.

papalars / Foter / CC BY-ND

Every child of God entered the trail head of the eternal upon their salvation.  We are told that this spiritual path of faith is narrow and difficult.  I have always envisioned this path like a trail to the summit of the tallest peak.  The path to the Father has never been ADA compliant.  Sinful people have never been entitled to full and equal enjoyment of the blessings of God’s presence .  In fact, no man ever has been capable of climbing the narrow path of faith into the presence of God.

None is righteous, no, not one; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (Romans 3:10-12)

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

God sent His own son into this world, in the likeness of sinful flesh to address this accessibility issue once and for all.  However, Jesus did not come into this world to make the path to the Father ADA compliant.

He did not come to remove the difficulty of the route.
He did not come to eliminate the hurdles.
He did not come to chisel an escalator into impenetrable holiness.
He did not come to lower the glory of God down to the realm of man.
He did not come to diminish the elevation of righteousness for the unrighteous.

Chad Podoski / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Jesus came to create supernatural climbers.  We are new creatures in Christ.  IN Christ, we are supernatural climbing freaks.  Our sinful flesh is no longer a barrier to the escalating elevation of the Most High.

The narrow way that was unassailable in our flesh has been made accessible because we are changed.  The spiritual path of faith has remained unchanged; it is still narrow and hard.  We are the ones who have been granted a new characteristic.  We have been made righteous through the blood of Christ.  Only the righteous can ascend through the narrow gate, on the hard way that leads to life.

We have been made to climb.
We have been acclimatized for the ascent. 

Many approach their faith as if they are in search of a pleasant day of hiking.  They may desire some spiritual challenges to round out their life but they are not really interested in the radical dedication of summiting.

The children of God were not created for pleasant day hiking.
We were made to climb. 

There are those who poke around with religion in search of the most comfortable version available.  Often, their desire for the spiritual is appeased by beholding a glimpse of the divine from a distance.

The children of God were not created to behold their Father from afar.
We were made to climb.

We are prepared by the blood of Christ and empowered by the Spirit to overcome all hardships, difficulties, and suffering.  There is nothing too difficult for our Lord.  Therefore, there is nothing too difficult for His children.  There is no trail too steep.  There is no impediment that cannot be surmounted.  There are no barriers that cannot be tossed aside.

We were made to climb!

Let’s gear-up and ascend in earnest.
Let’s breathe the rarefied air of the Almighty.
Let’s climb for the glory of our God.

See you at the top!

PRAYER: Lord, you know that I have often been content with a pleasant day hike.  Father, I want to climb.  I want to draw close to You.  I want to breathe in your presence and all of you blessings.  Thank you for giving me all that I need to travel this narrow and difficult path that You have laid before me.  Thank you for showing me the way.  Help me to continue to climb in earnest today and every day that you have me on this earth.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

%d bloggers like this: