There’s a mountain near my former home of Lancaster, Ohio, that I used to climb quite often. Along the path up the mountain are many resting places. Often people will stop and rest and renew their strength before continuing their walk to the summit. I used to watch with great interest as climbers would look up toward the top of the mountain and then decide to climb no higher. It’s easier to talk about climbing than to climb. It’s easier to chew the fat than walk it off.They felt content to sit and wait while their friends continued to climb. Instead of receiving strength to go higher, they rested on what they have achieved and settled into the “sparrow’s nest”.
We, too, can choose to be numbered with the many who have decided that the price is too great, the sacrifice too demanding, and the benefits of climbing too small. We can choose to sit. We can watch others climb. There will be an offer of a seat for anyone who is tired, plus sympathy and 17 reasons why it is not necessary to climb higher. Words of discouragement are contagious. Soon we could be sitting around the “sparrow’s nest”. It’s easier to talk about climbing that to climb. It’s easier to “chew the fat” than to walk it off. We need not be distracted by the living monuments of quitters who mark the pathway to the top of the mountain.There are more at the bottom than at the top. The “sparrow’s nest” is a popular place. But then there are always those in life who are like the eagles. We can chose to keep our eyes on the heights.Slowly, steadily, with determination, we can pass the “sparrow’s nest”. We need not be distracted by the living monuments of quitters who mark the pathway to the top of the mountain. Each one who has settled for second best is a reminder to us that life is a journey and not a destination, that oy comes through striving and not through settling down, that victory and quitting are not compatible.
We can climb onward and upward like the eagle.
It is so good to be at the top of the mountain.Finally, we arrive at the top. It is less crowded now, but the caliber of those who make it is different. At the summit you will find those who are encouragers. We find great fellowship and conversation about discipline, sacrifice, joy, happiness, achievement, and success. No hard-luck stories on the top of the mountain. No critical, envious, and bitter spirits. No bad attitudes or chips on shoulders. No sour dispositions or negative thinking. It is so good to be on top of the mountain. The air is clear. The vision is great. The beauty is something to behold. The fellowship is wonderful, and the feeling is good.
Once you have experienced victory, you can never be satisfied with less.But that feeling of satisfaction comes only after victory. That feeling is the result of hard work and determination. That feeling of exhilaration surges through you when you know you’ve done everything possible to fulfill the potential God has given you. That feeling of achievement assures you that your talents and energies have been wisely expended. You have soared like the eagle. You have seen too much to be satisfied with less! You have experienced too many exciting adventures to settle for second best. Yes, you have climbed like the eagle, and there’s nothing that can make you roost in the sparrow’s nest ever again —ever!
~from “Think on These Things” by John Maxwell