In his book, Just Courage, Gary Haugen tells the story of when he, his brothers and his dad decided to go hiking near Mt. Rainer. On this particular day,
Gary decided that he did NOT want to hike any further than the Visitor’s Center! His dad tried to coax him up the mountain, and warned him that it would a long, boring day hanging around the Center. Gary insisted that the Center was much more interesting than “hiking up some boring, old mountain.” He wanted to stay in the warm, carpeted Visitor’s Center.
Within an hour, Gary found that the Center had become very dull. The videos on Mt. Rainer became boring after the seventh time through, the air in the room began to feel stuffy, the pictures of the mountain grew stale and Gary began to question his choice.
After what felt like the longest afternoon of his 10-year-old life, Gary’s dad and brothers finally returned
and were flushed with their triumph. Their faces were red from the cold, and their eyes were clear with delight. They were wet from the snow, hungry, laughing and they had glorious stories of an unforgettable day on the mountain.
As we enter the season of Advent, I wonder if some of us are “stuck in the Visitors Center” when we look at our Christian lives. Maybe boredom has set in, life is uneventful, and although we’re walking with Christ, we feel we’re somehow missing out on the adventure. I want to encourage you to remember that our heavenly Father is the creator of real lasting joy. He calls us to follow him up the mountain, trust our entire lives with him and to step into the fulfilling life that he offers!
Haugen writes,“In different times and in different ways, our heavenly Father offers us a simple proposition: Follow me beyond what you can control,
beyond where your own strength and competencies can take you and beyond what is affirmed or risked by the crowd. – and you will experience
me and my power and my wisdom and my love.”
I look forward to this new adventure with you, and I am grateful to celebrate the birth of our Lord and
Savior with you this Christmas. Merry Christmas!