Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them... - Mark 9:2
Mount Colvin was the first mountain I climbed in the Adirondacks. It was early fall, and I was in the seventh grade. We had just moved to Upstate New York the previous summer and I was eager to explore. Our church youth group did a hike every October on Columbus Day, and this year the trek was up Mount Colvin.
Colvin is not the most strenuous climb in the Adirondacks, but it is somewhat challenging. The peak is at 4,500 feet and the hike is listed in the guidebook at 12.5 miles round-trip. That takes most of the day. I do not remember a lot of the details of the hike (it was 40 years ago!), but I do remember some of our group turning around before the summit.
Not me, though. Oh no. I had been running cross country for the past two months, so I thought I was in pretty good shape, plus I wanted to prove I was just as tough is some of the older kids. So even though I remember feeling tired, I pressed on.
Like many hikes in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, it starts out gradually, even flat, before you start making your way up. As you get closer to the top, the climb gets steeper and more challenging. That is especially true on Mount Colvin. Near the top, I remember clambering over rocks and grabbing trees to pull myself up. But I made it! And it was worth every step. The view was great, and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. There was just one little problem. I still had to hike back down.
Yes, down is easier than up, but that does not mean down is easy. And it was still over six miles of walking. And I was tired. I learned an important lesson that day. The top of the mountain is not the goal. The goal is to get to the top AND get back down again.
If our faith is only about the mountaintop moments, we are only making half the journey. After Jesus' Transfiguration, Peter wanted to stay up on the mountain and build a shrine, but Jesus made them go back down into the valley because there was still more work to do.
While we should enjoy those mountaintop experiences where we experience God's loving presence, let us not forget that we are also called to labor for God's kingdom, and there is always more work to do.
Worship This Week
Sunday, 10am, in the sanctuary & Facebook Live
Thursday, 6:30pm, in the North Room.
If you join us in-person, you must wear a mask and follow safe distancing.
If you are not well or have been exposed to someone with the corona virus, please watch from home.
Keep In Prayer:
Rick Graham, Marvin Homan, Sherry Williams, Sherry's friend Cheryl, Mary Wallen, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman,
Kathy Sanders' mother & brother
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne, Bernie Reynolds