You've heard Miley Cyrus' tune, It's the Climb, I'm sure. The song calls us to consider that it's not the destination but the journey that counts. I must admit I resonate with the top-40 tune because the message reflects my view of life and ministry. Hebrews 11:13 reminds me that everyone--yes, everyone--who God called to join Him in His eternal purposes never--yes, never--saw what He called them to do, and they saw themselves as "aliens and strangers on earth." It's the climb that describes our time on earth.
Our vacation in Red River this year with our Baylor clan was one of the most refreshing we have had. The week was filled with family, friends, creation, and the church--pretty much what the climb of life is all about.
Sunday, while Legacy gathered to worship, I preached at the community worship service at the Community House in town. During the week, there is line dancing, concerts, and crafts in the room, but on Sundays people from all over the nation gather to be the church in this little resort town. (209 were there this Sunday.)
We sang hymns and closed with the traditional tune, "Church in the Wildwood." We gathered around a fellowship lunch provided by the community house, and we experienced great stories and deepened our friendships. The ekklesia is alive and well...wherever you may go, and in many, many forms and traditions.
I also made my bi-annual climb to Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico. While we got lost on the ascent, we found our way to the peak and back home safely. Every time I do this, I cannot forget the words of the psalmist who declares, who am I that you even think of me? (Psalm 8:4) The natural revelation of God in His good creation constantly refreshes my trust in Him and that we are part of God's gracious intentions of grace and mercy.
That's Taos ski basin from the trail to the peak in the photo.
The first photo is on the trail below the peak, which is over this one and still higher!
This a shot above the treeline (+12,000 feet) as we climbed out of Middlefork Lake to make our own trail to Wheeler. Laying on the side of the mountain with this view was my personal highlight of the trip.
We have been going to Red River with friends we have known since college days since 1987, my first year at Legacy. Here's a picture of those who made it this year. We all rented jeeps and made the forest road drive to the lake, cooked breakfast for everyone, and posed for the shot. (Storey and Graham stayed in town with Cambell.) Life-long friends are partners on the climb of life. You can't do it without them.
And, above all else, I spent incredible times with my family. Kim and I comment often about how God has blessed us, and one of the best is our family as it grows. The climb with them has been worth every step.
We start back this week in partnership ministry with Legacy, and I'm ready to re-engage and see what God will do on this leg of the climb.