The Climb

On Top of the World - Almost

“The Good Lord gave us mountains so we can learn how to climb.”

I reached the top of a mountain Sunday night that I have been climbing, well, for all intents and purposes, my whole life. It isn’t the only mountain I have been scaling for a long time, nor the last that I will attempt to ascend to the top. But it was, it is, a big one for me that has required a lot of time, learning, effort, sacrifice, and perseverance.

And I could not have climbed it alone.

This mountain’s complete ascent was only made possible for me because of the limitless grace and mercy of God and the personal, purposeful, passionate, and prayerful assistance of many others. Many, many others. Some who never knew I was making this climb. And others who both pushed me and pulled me when I was unable, or unwilling, or too overcome, to take the next step or set out for the next plateau.

And while I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has played a role for me in this journey, and I am so doing right now, it is those who walked me to the top who my heart really yearns to recognize and thank.

Thank in the deepest and most-profound of ways. Thank with a truly humble and heartfelt acknowledgement of had it not been for their, for your, efforts, belief, support, kindness, patience, flexibility, sensitivity, generosity, acceptance, examples, and more, I simply would not have reached the top of this mountain. And for the longest time, I really wanted to make it to the top. And they know, you know, that those last few “miles” were not easy. On any of us. Even summiting the top was challenging to negotiate and accept. Or celebrate. It still is.

Nevertheless, their, your, examples have been remarkable. Their, your, contributions have been indispensable. Their, your, commitments to companion me to the top have been unequaled. Their, your, efforts will never be forgotten. The trail to the top will always be remembered by me with you at my side.

I needed you. And you were there.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

There are also several individuals who greatly influenced me and/or supported me on this journey who are no longer in my life. I wish to recognize their respective contributions and thank them too. The tracks that they left next to mine are indelible and will always serve as a reminder to me of the parts of the trail that we shared.

And there are other people, people who are, or were, or should be, very important to me, and me to them as well, that know nothing of this lifelong climb, or its meaning and importance to me, that I wish could share my quiet, brief, and mixed-emotion celebration with me. That I wish could acknowledge the climb with me. They, too, are remembered longingly and with gratitude at this time for their impact on me and this journey.

And now that I stand at the top of this mountain and humbly reflect on the climb – the people; the teachers, lessons, and the learning; the storms, rainbows, and the beauty; and the total significance of it all – I will rest for but a brief moment after expressing this, my gratitude, and then I will set my eyes and my feet to assume the next leg of my journey. For there is a range of mountains yet to climb and they are calling me.

My work and learning are far from finished. I am, and seek to continue to be, clay on the wheel of the Master Potter. The unfinished work of His hands ever-learning to yield and be molded by those holy hands. And deeply desirous of honoring and serving Him through serving others. And being my best possible self. Which means I have a lot of mountains still to climb. And move.

So I will continue the climb. My climb. And ascend – and move – my mountains.

Believe Bravely; Dare Greatly,

Jay

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb!

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb!

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

The Climb, written by Jon Mabe and Jessi Alexander • Copyright © Walt Disney Music Company, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

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