Last weekend, I climbed a mountain without even really intending to. As part of the American Leadership Forum’s leadership program I am participating in this year, I spent a long weekend up in Plumas National Forest with other leaders from San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties. On one of the days, we had an option: we could climb the Sierra Buttes, do a shorter hike to Tamarac lake, or a really short walk to a look-out point. I didn’t given much thought to it– I went with the middle option because, well, it was the middle option! That seemed like a wise choice. But when the morning came for us to split up in groups, I was the only one who wanted to go to the lake. Two other
people decided to join me. The first part of the trail was the same for the mountain and the lake, so we said “when we get to the fork, we can decide to go to the lake or up the mountain.” No pressure– we would just decide as we got there. When we got to the fork, we decide to head up the mountain, but were clear we could stop at any point. Our guide told us that we should strive to walk at a pace where we could always keep up a conversation, which at times meant a very slow pace. But that’s what we did. About 3/4 of the way up, my two hiking partners decided they were finished with their ascent– but I was feeling good and decided to go to the top. And just like that, without even meaning to, I climbed a mountain.
From a distance, that mountain looks, well, like a mountain. Something that would be exhausting to climb. But when you have good hiking buddies, when you walk at a slow, conversational pace, step by step it’s possible (even easier than expected) to climb a mountain.
I look forward to worshiping with you This Sunday: The Gift of Limitations–Life is full of possibility and limitation, though we just like to talk about the possibilities. But in truth, the limitations give our life useful and creative definition. Worship Leaders this week are Rev. Darcy, Todd Whiteley, and Sabine Klein. We will blessed to have our children with us for the whole service, allowing our entire multigenerational community to worship together.