When last seen, he was still climbing… Look, See, Pray

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The lure of the mountains pulls at the indomitable human spirit. Asked why he wanted  to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory simply stated “Because it’s there.”  Mallory and his companion Sandy Irvine disappeared in June 1924 trying to ascend Everest. Another mountaineer saw them climb into clouds near the summit, and reported “When last seen, he was still climbing.” A fitting epitaph for a great adventure.

Looking at the photograph, is there any part of you that would love to explore the mountain by climbing that stream rising into the misty cold heights?

It is possible that only a handful of people have ever been up that valley- or perhaps no human feet have ever walked that way. It’s there.

Maybe your response is to look at this picture and think “my life is facing challenges and trouble. I don’t know how I will ever get over this.”

Unknown paths and huge obstacles stand in our way. Few lives are entirely safe or trouble-free. At times we go forward into a mist of confusion, the icy blast of a savage wind, or scrambling over boulders that can make us feel insignificant and tiny. Most of us would like to have some clear guidance before facing our challenges. Answers are not always forthcoming.

Trying to trust in God means we can believe that life has purpose, that the way our life turns out is not pointless. It doesn’t mean we get “inside information” that makes it easy. In fact, sometimes God leads us into and through difficult experiences. Here is a quote from Proverbs 20:24 (New Living Translation) : “The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”

Asking for clarity is fine. Demanding answers carries no guarantee.

No-one knows what tomorrow will bring. I hope that when my final day comes, I will be trusting in the faithful goodness of God- and that anyone watching will say “When last seen, he was still climbing…”

Copyright 2018 text & photograph, Richard Starling.

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