Some years ago a friend and I set out to climb Mount Whitney. At 14,505 feet, it is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. We arrived at Whitney Portal late one evening, rolled out our sleeping bags at base camp, and tried to get some sleep before we began our ascent at first light. Whitney is not a technical climb but rather a long, exhausting walk—11 miles of relentless ascent.
The climb, though hard-going, was exhilarating, with stunning vistas, beautiful blue lakes, and lush meadows along the way. But the trail grew long and exhausting, a test for legs and lungs. I thought of turning back as the day wore on and the trail seemed to stretch endlessly before us.
Occasionally, however, I caught a glimpse of the summit and realized that each step was bringing me one step closer. If I just kept walking, I would get there. That was the thought that kept me going.
Paul assures us, “Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11). Every day brings us one day closer to that great day when we shall “summit” and see our Savior’s face. That’s the thought that can keep us going.