Tuesday, July 24, 2018
A number of years ago I became intrigued by individuals who sought to conquer Mt. Everest. Once they placed their feet on top of that mountain, they took a few moments to celebrate as they soaked in the view from the highest peak in the world.
These climbers, however, could not stop for long.
Even though the summit indicated the halfway point, it also indicated there were miles to go before they could call their trek successful. Their survival hinged on their descent to a camp at a lower altitude. They needed to get off the mountain peak before the weather kicked up, and out of the death zone before their oxygen tanks emptied.
Now before you conclude that I have decided to take up climbing earthen mountains, let me assure you that I have not. Mountain climbing, especially Everest, is one challenge I have no desire to conquer—though I applaud those who attempt to conquer or actually conquer the mountain.
Although Everest is not my goal, for the past two years I have been climbing an academic mountain. Recently I completed class number seven, marking the halfway point.
While I am in no way comparing reaching the halfway mark of taking on-line grad classes to reaching the summit of any earthen mountain, I can say this process has been quite the mental and emotional trek.
Taking on-line classes has it’s own challenges, but for each challenge, I can truly say that I’m enjoying what I am learning.
Due to the way my classes are scheduled it’s taken two years to reach this milestone. Looking ahead, I know there is a great possibility that it could take two and maybe three more years to complete my degree. When I first realized this, a minor battle of frustration ensued in my brain because I do not want to continue on this path for another three years. Personally, I would like to wrap up this process as soon as possible.
As I worked through my frustration, something happened. God reminded me that His timetable is not the same as my timetable. And, since He’s the one who prompted me to enroll in grad school, even if it takes me four more years to complete my degree, well, that is ok. Why? Because . . . He is in control. He knows the future He has planned for me in relation to this degree. Plus, even when it seems that He is delayed in His movements, His timing is always right on time. He’s never a moment late, and never a moment early.
Thinking back to climbers attempting to summit Mount Everest, they do not hop off the plane, transport their equipment to the base of the mountain, and then attempt to summit on the following day. No, they spend weeks at the base of the mountain where they rest and hike back and forth between base camp and the camps at higher altitudes. This resting and hiking process helps their body acclimatize, and helps prepare them for the extreme conditions they will face while on the mountain pass and as they begin their trek towards the summit.
My journey of working through grad school is similar to a mountaineer going through the acclimatization process. I cannot go from class one to class fourteen in warp speed. Well, I could if they offered all the classes I needed in that time frame. But since they don’t, I have to slow my pace. Which is a good thing.
Racing through the class material accomplishes one thing—a speedy finish. But speeding through material does not allow the mind to soak in the lessons or relish in the beauty around me. And honestly, there is too much at stake for me to speed through my classes.
On the mountain climbing end, if a mountaineer tries to rush the process of acclimatizing and summiting, they are bound to make a mistake and wind up on the casualty list.
Personally, I have no desire to end up on the casualty list because I sped through my classwork just to get to the finish line.
And so . . . I find myself at the halfway point wondering Now What?
I keep going, that’s what.
I keep striving towards the end goal, even if the journey is a slow one.
- I don’t stop too long to enjoy the view and lose the momentum of completing the task.
- I don’t allow my efforts to be derailed simply because the classes I need to take are not scheduled in the manner I had hoped.
- I don’t speed through the journey and miss the beauty around me or the lessons I need to learn.
This brings me to some questions for you, fellow traveler.
Where are you on your journey towards reaching your goals?
Have you recently made it to the halfway point but . . .
- Stopped too long to enjoy the view?
- Lost the momentum to continue the rest of the way?
- Encountered an event that has derailed your efforts?
- Realize you are speeding through the journey and missing the beauty around you as well as the lessons you need to learn?
Wherever you are in your journey, please know it’s not too late to . . .
- Rejoin the journey.
- Get back on track.
- Refocus your efforts.
- Stop speeding ahead.
- Enjoy the process.
- Recognize the beauty nearby.
- Relish in the lessons being learned.
As you travel the road to achieve your goals, allow Galatians 6:9 NIV to be an encouragement to you. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Hang in there fellow traveler. Though it may be slow in coming, the harvest for all of your hard work is on the horizon.
- all photos are compliments of pixabay.com