I’ve always loved to backpack. Back in the 80’s my friend Tim and I would venture out to climb the peaks of the nearby Adirondack mountains in New York. There are 46 “High Peaks” and if you climbed them all, you’d become a “46er”. Most of the 46 peaks are between 4000-5400’ elevation. Compared to many mountains these peaks aren’t so tall, but they’re rugged; full of roots (usually wet – so slippery!) and rocks, plus the trails were steep, often following the fall lines of the peak. With few exceptions, reaching the peak of an Adirondack mountain was a notable accomplishment.
We’d try to get out about twice a year, shooting to “Peak” 2-3 mountains each trip. We’d high five each other on top, proud of our accomplishment, then over dinner talk about which was next to conquer. You see, though it may have been interesting to summit a certain peak again, or relish summiting peaks from the past, the adventure was going after those we had not yet experienced. The adventure of climbing mountains was in the pursuit.
The adventure of the pursuit kept us asking, what is our next peak?
Ever felt this way in your life? You’ve been in a role for a while and experienced some success; “reached a peak” so to speak. You could hang out here yet your feelings of competence and accomplishment somehow drift towards boredom, a sense of “been there done that”. Much like the feeling someone gets having climbed a mountain. Your work has been good, very good in fact, but the question, “Now what?” starts to enter your thoughts.
Could the adventure of your life actually be found in the pursuit, not simply in the accomplishment?
Now some may think that entertaining the “Now what?” question is a sign of discontentment, selfish ambition, or perhaps greed. Should we feel guilty for having such a thought? Where is it coming from anyway? Sure, it could be our selfish nature and pride showing, but perhaps the thought may be coming from God himself. What if God planted the desire to pursue into our nature? We are made in God’s image after all and a quick review of the stories of the Bible shows that he is a God of adventure, action and growth. God doesn’t like complacency and he knows our doubts and fears like to keep us there. We often see him going to great lengths to disrupt his faithful people from hiding in some safe familiar place, off track from the plan he has for them.
Think of Moses. He spent 40 years tending sheep for his father in law, hiding from Pharaoh, trying to live a quiet life. What does God do? He shows up in a burning bush to break him out of his rut. Crazy! We don’t know what was going on in Moses’ thinking prior to this, but we know that he was aware of the suffering of the Jews, his people. No doubt the memory of the murder he committed in response to their abusive slavery weighed on him. Was Moses discontent or did he have the sense that more was expected from him than tending sheep the rest of his life? Moses chose to take a key step of faith toward the bush, his life never was the same afterward. His powerful adventure with God moved forward, peak experience after peak experience.
What is your next peak?
Moses shows us that to engage God in the adventure he has for our lives, we must step forward in faith, in pursuit of a new peak. Not a peak motivated for our purposes, but for God’s. Though God does gives times of rest, he does not want us glorying in our past accomplishments, but to pursue the individual path he has set for each one of us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
Along the way, we are to strip off the things that slow us down. This does not happen when we linger on the top of our past peak. We get stronger and lighter when we pursue God’s plan, the adventure of our lives.
Are you on a peak now? Just past? Perhaps its time to start considering and planning to conquer your next peak. Unsure of what your next peak is? Not sure how you could ever consider such an adventure? Let’s talk. The Mission Curve™ process leads you step by step to help you identify your next peak and plan your assent.
Go to www.bobblackcoaching.com to schedule a free consultation.