Last year we were driving home on the New Jersey Turnpike when a huge thunderstorm overtook us… a deluge; I saw Noah’s ark in the distance. We were in three lanes of traffic, the wipers were on max, our emergency flashers were on, and you could barely see the car in front of you. I’m still amazed that we made it home safely…a lot of prayer sure helped.
It seems life is often like that trip….. our destination and goal is almost lost in the chaos of what’s going on around us. I’ve read accounts of people trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest. As the climbers get nearer to the summit of 29, 032’, the chaos is incredible….”temperatures at the summit are never above freezing and during January temperatures can drop as low as -76° F. Despite the low temperatures, the biggest issue faced by climbers are hurricane force winds and wind chill… not to mention the “death zone”, where there is not enough available oxygen for humans to breathe; usually above 26,247 feet…” Yikes.
In the midst of chaos, it’s hard to stay focused on our goal…. whether it’s getting home during a deluge on the NJT or reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, or living our life for the Lord and ultimately getting to heaven.
The chaos of life often surrounds us as we daily venture forth. At times we can get lost and be uncertain if we’re making any progress toward our goal. We may be doing really well, but it’s not clear to us.
It’s important to prepare well. I read that “in order to successfully summit Everest, you must be incredibly physically fit; most people spend at least one-year training to climb the mountain; you then need up to three months to make the journey. It takes 19 days round trip to trek to and from Everest Base Camp. Once at Everest Base Camp it then takes an average of 40 days to climb to the peak of Mt. Everest.” The costs range from $28,000-$85,000 and more. Preparation is extensive and it costs a lot of money.
Climbing the “mountain of life” takes even more preparation and costs even more than climbing Everest. The obstacles are greater. One key obstacle is harassment by the devil (s), “ not an impersonal force, but malevolent beings bent on destroying human beings and hindering God’s plan of salvation….demons are real spiritual beings, fallen angels. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 391-395) . The good news is that Jesus definitively conquered these powers of hell.” (ref. Mary Healy, Magnificat, 1-10-23)
Just as the climbers need the “Sherpas” ( expert climbers from Nepal) to assist them, we need Jesus to assist us in overcoming this great obstacle. In Christ we have power over evil and in his name we can disperse the fog and chaos they bring.
So let’s not be discouraged when the chaos of life interrupts our daily climb. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we can stay on course. No obstacle, including the devil, can deter us if we but stay close to our Lord. So let’s keep moving. Wow, look into the distance …. I think I can see the summit….. it is so beautiful.