Friday, August 13, 2010

Too Whiny To Witness

If you have been following my blog the last few days then you know I have been writing about the trip that my oldest son and I took up Mt. Mansfield last week. If you have not read those blogs yet, take a minute and read them here (blog 1, blog 2, blog 3) and that will help you understand this post better.

We hiked up the Cliff Trail to the top of Mt. Mansfield. That trail is rated Quad D, which stands for difficult times four! Though I love to walk, taking a stroll on the dirt roads around my home was hardly preparation for climbing up the hardest trail to the top of the tallest peak in Vermont. But I did it anyway because my son wanted to and since he was going away to college, we wanted one last father/son bonding experience.

Being a pastor, I decided to take a Gideon's New Testament with me to the top of the mountain. I am not sure exactly what I thought I would do with it, but I had read an article about a "missionary" on the Appalachian Trail who gave out New Testaments to hikers. Many of those hikers would read the New Testament on long lonely nights in their tents while hiking and would come to faith in Christ. I guess in the back of my mind I thought I do some kind of trail witnessing to those I passed by.
Needless to say, I was so busy trying to stay on my feet and keep moving up the mountain, that I never pulled that New Testament out of my pack until we got all the way to the top. And though I did read it that evening and again the next morning, my legs hurt so badly and my back was aching so much that I never did share the Gospel with any of the many people I passed along the way or any of the other hikers who stayed in the same cabin that we did that night. Honestly, I was too busy whining to myself about how much I hurt to witness to others about Christ.

Now that the experience is behind me, I am realizing just how big a failure that was. What if Christ had decided the cross was too heavy to carry all the way to Calvary? What if Christ had decided He was too tired to take a beating with a cat-of-nine tails? What if Christ said He had a headache and just could not deal with that crown of thorns? I am so grateful Christ did not do that. Despite His pain and His agony, He went all the way to the end and completed His mission so that we could be saved from sin and its consequences. Thank you Jesus for not being as whiny as I was when You went up Your mountain for me!

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