Reaching Your Own Summits

There are currently 200 bodies on Mount Everest. These bodies are from failed expeditions to either summit the mountain or descend from its peak. Most bodies of the deceased are left on the mountain; it is their final resting place because it is too dangerous and costly to try and retrieve them for their families.

I have recently found an interest in reading articles and watching documentaries about expeditions to the highest mountain in the world and have made several mental notes:

  • The peak is at 29,029 feet.
  • In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay were the first confirmed climbers to reach the summit.
  • The minimum cost to climb today is $25,000.
  • 800 people attempt to climb each year.
  • 60% of people from the base camp successfully summit the mountain.
  • 6 to 10 people die each year.

A troubling trend is that the expedition has become more of a business and tourist attraction, rather than the ultimate climb for the most experienced climbers in the world. One Everest outfitter suggested that almost half of the people they guide up the mountain are not qualified climbers. This puts all of those that are guiding these trips in danger, as they have to lead these climbers up holding their hands and teaching them as they go.

This got me thinking. 

To what lengths will people go to fulfill a goal? Also, are these people even clear on what goals they should be going after?

It seems that they are chasing after something they are ill-equipped for because God hasn’t called them to make it to the top of the world. 

We, as Christians, can be like this. We see what others have in life, whether it’s within our workplaces, family lives, hobbies, or even our spiritual lives. We see summits around us, and without considering the cost or listening to God, we run after it – not realizing those we may impact or hurt along the way. 

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1 (ESV)

My conclusion is this: God is preparing us to reach our own summits that He is calling us to. My summit may not be the same as my friends’ or family’s. Only by walking in step with God will I know what mountain He wants me to climb.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”