The views on that wintry day were breathtaking. The patchwork valley and silver ribbon of river far below lay silent and still. Snow-crusted blue mountains backed by glacier-covered peaks furnished the backdrop. The exhilaration that comes when effort is matched by like reward was ours. We had climbed the snowy trail for two hours up the mountain. Sometimes gently uphill, other times down then steeply up again. We had donned gaiters and boots with crampon-like cleats for gripping icy sections. We had followed trail-markers, obsessively scanning for metal markers spiked into trunks, or orange ribbons gaily hanging from tree branches. And now we were at the top. Granola bars and thermoses of hot drink were joyfully drawn from daypacks to toast the view, the journey, and the end of the uphill trek.
There are so many parallels in daily living to the Way of God in our lives. That wintry hike reminds me a lot of the New Way made available to us through Jesus Christ.
He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The way to the Father is “a new and living way”. Jesus offers to indwell us with His very life. No metaphor can do it justice, but sometimes an illustration can help us visualize it a bit better.
The Path Itself: That day, covered in snow, the path was a bit obscure. It blanketed dirt, boulders, and underbrush alike. We did observe bootprints of other passersby, a confirmation that someone else had trodden the path—but were they going where we were? It was those trail markers that gave us the best guidance for the real trail. As long as we kept sight of them, we were good. The ‘new and living way’ has markers for us too; God’s Word is so powerful and timely when we read it and follow its wisdom and directives. It will lead us upward, ever closer to Him, and protect us from falling away from Him.
Our Footwear: Our warm socks and rubber-soled boots allowed us to persevere on that day’s hike. As we follow the way of Christ, an appreciation for the love of Christ becomes the source of our ability to persevere. Just as our cleats gave us traction on icy patches, our faith in Jesus and his relevance for every issue in our lives is what enables us to keep from slipping.
The View: Of course, the journey in itself was stimulating. A healthy body, clean snow transforming a west coast forest trail, and great company was good. But the view at the top was stunning. When we finally see Christ in all His glory it will be a mountaintop experience; until then, prayer brings us moments of that glory—not only answered prayer, but also adoring, worshipful prayer and hopeful, petitioning prayer.
This way is one-of-a-kind. Don’t be duped by other ways. There is no substitute for Jesus himself, the way, the true way and the living way. Do you want Jesus? Put on your boots and step out on today’s journey with Him.