This past March, I went to Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah and climbed one of the most dangerous hikes in the world–Angel’s Landing.
It was absolutely terrifying.
At the base of the mountain, there was a sign that listed all the hikers who had died climbing the cliffs. The hike was steep and metal chains strung across the mountainside were all that kept us from slipping and plunging into the deep canyon below. Having grown up in Florida, my mountain-climbing skills were subpar and it took everything in me not to burst into tears as I clung to each slab of rock, praying that I wouldn’t lose my footing. Thankfully, we reached the top and as I looked out across the canyons, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It was one of the most surreal and spiritual moments I’d ever experienced. I had reached the sky and touched heaven from the top of a western summit.
Heading back down the mountain, I started to think about the parallels between this hike and my spiritual walk with Christ. At the beginning of the trail, the prospect of reaching the top was exhilarating. Everything was simple. The air was fresh and the mountain was nothing more than a beautiful backdrop. Nothing could possibly go wrong! I was blissfully oblivious to what was ahead. However, as the air grew thinner, so did my confidence. I began to understand the challenges that I had to face.
Like the hike, our walk with Christ can still be susceptible to fear, doubt, and attacks from the enemy. Pursuing intimacy with our creator doesn’t guarantee safety, but it does promise an abundant life. I could’ve turned back many times on that mountainside. There were moments of doubt and fear–wondering if it was worth it. But something kept me going–a desire to reach the end and to experience a view unlike anything else in the world.
Life can feel a lot like a perilous mountain, every decision we make taking us one step higher to the summit. We can choose to turn back when it becomes frightening or difficult, but Christ is calling us to something greater. He is inviting us to step out, to climb the mountain, and to reach the top so that we can experience the beauty of a relationship with the God who created the universe. It’s takes a leap of faith but trust me, the view is spectacular.
words by Kendall Bolam and photo by Sara Pritchard