How do you “earn the view”? Lori Wildenberg walks us ahead.
Earn the View
By Lori Wildenberg
We earned the view. My hiking buddy daughter, Kendra, and I sat down on a rock outcropping at the 12,500-foot summit of West Maroon Pass, approximately halfway between the mountain towns of Aspen and Crested Butte, Colorado. We feasted on our peanut butter and honey sandwiches, apples, chips, and sipped water as we soaked in the mountain vistas.
Our journey led us around a lake, to fields of wildflowers, into the willows, and through boulder fields. We pushed through the 2920-foot vertical gain. Our backpacks were filled with first aid items, raingear, a water bladder, duct tape, and snacks. We knew this hike would not be easy, but it would be worth it. We were determined to earn the view. We were prepared.
Life, like climbing a mountain, is a worthwhile and challenging undertaking. Have you noticed that the climb takes longer than the time spent at the top? A full life is an adventure for which we need to ready ourselves. Often, we are unprepared for the hardships that we encounter along the way. We want the mountain top experience and perspective without earning the view. The truth is we will encounter suffering along with celebration.
Jesus is a hope-filled realist; he tells it like it is. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Trouble and this world go together. But we can take heart and be hopeful because Jesus has overcome the worldly troubles. We have his assurance that he is with us. We are not alone. And we are not created to do life independent of him or of others.
Do you embrace independence yet find that this mindset prevents you from asking for a hand when you are struggling to climb a mountain in your life? We are hardwired to need each other, to rely on one another, to give help, seek help, ask for help, and receive help. We are to be each other’s helper.
I find that pride and shame are barriers to seeking help. When we lean on the Lord and allow others to enter our world, disappointment will be less likely to turn into despair, sadness into depression, or worry into anxiety. When the journey becomes burdensome and strenuous, it is not only OK to ask for a hand, it is a smart and brave thing to do. Because life is predictably unpredictable, we need one another.
Hiking alone isn’t safe, so I’m thankful my daughter and I share a passion for big hikes. The 12 miles between Aspen and Crested Butte are filled with beauty and challenge. The weather is unpredictable, the air is thin, and the increase in elevation adds to the experience. Sharing the ups and down of the trek enhances the enjoyment and increases the ability to persevere when the going gets tough.
Grief, fear, sadness, and worry are familiar and expected companions on life’s journey. But so are mountain top moments. When we ditch the desire to be independent, we can earn the view with determination, resiliency, preparation, hope, and companionship. Then together, we share the amazing view.
Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a lifetime. Lori is a licensed parent-family educator, national speaker, and an award-winning author. She leads the popular Moms Together Facebook Community Page and group. Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety Depression, or Suicidal Ideation is her sixth and most recently published book. You can find articles by Lori over at Focus on the Family, Crosswalk.com, Christian Authors Network, ChristianParenting.org, Munce, Just Between Us, and Her View from Home. She is also a frequent guest on radio shows and podcast programs. The Wildenberg home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Lori is Mom to four, Mom-in-Love to three, and Mimi to three. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with Tom (her hubby) and any combination of their growing family!