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Why I am climbing Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier, WA
Next week about this time I plan to be climbing on the way to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier. Some of you know of my addiction to adrenalin and adventure so you will not be surprised. 

Others of you may be asking, "Why would you want to do such a thing when you have a perfectly good life with good health and, if the Lord wills, a potentially wonderful future?" Good question, and here are some of my reasons.

I'm doing this with a friend. Jim Craig invited me when he announced climbing Mt. Rainier was on his "bucket list" and wondered who wanted to go along? He grew up in Seattle, and the mountain loomed daily on his horizon, and he finally decided he would climb it. Jim and I cycle with Legacy Cyclists, share life together in our LifeGroup, and call Legacy Church our spiritual family. Friendships often determine the paths you end up taking. (Don't ask me, "Well, if your friend asked you to jump of that mountain, would you do that?" Depends...)

Camp Muir
I'm doing this with a trusted company and guides. We have never done anything like this before so we hired guides with RMI, Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. They guide climbs daily, and will take time to train us to use equipment I have only worn in my living room.

I am doing this because God has put within me a longing to be connected to His Creation. We are God's creatures meant to live and dwell in creation. Part of getting outside on a mountain is a chance to breathe and stretch beyond the synthetic environments we have created for ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I love insulated walls and AC in the 100+ degree weather of North Texas, but even here I find ways to get on dirt and among trees to run where God created us to run: in His playground of creation.

Finally, it's simple: I love adventure! Why do you think I'm a pastor? Seriously. Can you think of a more adventurous journey than living among and leading a group of people to look something like Jesus where they live, work, and play? You can't avoid the hard stuff, and you can't take short cuts on the ascent. The weakest one determines the speed of the group, and the strong ones learn humility and to serve the weak. People quit when it gets to hard, and danger is around every corner. And no two day's are alike! It's more like a 1,000-foot ascent at 14,000 feet than a picnic in the park. Adventure motivates me as a pastor. I will attempt to summit Mt. Rainier for the same reason.

My parents sent me part of this Psalm as their prayer for me. I will claim it as my prayer for the climb:

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
   and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
   no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.(Psalm 91:9-12)

For daily web cams and weather information, you can go here.

I'll post from my phone to facebook along the way and retell the story here when I get back. Prayers appreciated!