When I lived on Orcas Island, WA, I started a youth club called Next Level Pathfinders. For a field trip, I took them to Seattle’s IMAX to see a film on George Mallory and Mt Everest, then to REI to climb the third tallest indoor wall in the world. On that day we literally took our club to the next level.
Did you know that Mt. Everest is 29,035 feet and rises a few millimeters each year due to geological forces? Its first measurement as 29,002 feet. Just like this unrivaled mountain, the forces of God’s Spirit are inch by inch moving us upward to new understandings of his will for our lives. His Spirit gives us the ability to experience joyful sacrifice and to accomplish things we never thought possible.
George Mallory, an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s, said it best. “The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is no use’. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.” George Leigh Mallory, 1922
Like George Mallory, and more profoundly like Jesus Christ, I hope you are inspired to reach the next level in your life—whatever it may be. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2