For years I have had a strange desire to go to Mt. Everest. I have read every book out there, watched all the movies, TiVoed the Discovery Channel series, saved an Outside Magazine clipping, and have the above image as my computer’s backdrop.
Deep down I know I will never actually make it there, but for some reason there has been this longing to see the world’s largest mountain. Deep seeded in me, and I believe every man, is a need for adventure, risk and challenge.
But there is a disease that prevents men from climbing Mt. Everest. I have come to believe the disease that eats away at many of us is passivity.
When inherited this passivity from our first father Adam. He was tasked with one job–to serve and protect God’s creation. Yet when the time came to speak up, he remained silent sneaking into the shadows.
When I was living in New Jersey, my wife had us join an organic pick-your-own-food farm. I remember going out there to pick tomatoes. By the time I would get out there most of the good fruit would be gone, and so I would go hunting among the leftovers.
Adam’s passivity makes us men like the large, plump red tomatoes I would come across at the farm. These things looked beautiful from the outside and when I would find these I would think to myself, “Suckers, everyone else missed this one.” Then I would reach down and try to pluck them from the vine. Suddenly what looked appealing on the outside would turn into this mushy-nasty mess in my fingers. They had over-rippened. They had sat too long on the vine, sucking the nutrients and water for themselves.
They were a waste, purposeless and a mess. This is what can happen from our disease of passivity. We can sit passively by consuming all the stuff that is around us becoming plump. While we may look good on the outside, truth is we are rotting from the core because we are not doing what we are designed for. Like Adam, when are called upon to act, we remain passively disengaged.
Men were designed to take risks, to embrace challenges, and to conquer our insecurities, but we have been domesticated clinging to the vine for too long.
Last month I was reading John Eldridge’s Wild at Heart. As I read the final section of his book, I was amazed to discover another man just like me. He wrote,
For years now I have wanted to climb one of the great peaks–Denali, perhaps, and after that maybe even Everest. Something calls to my heart every time I see a photo or read an account of another attempt. The allure of the wild places we have left haunts me, but there’s also the desire for a challenge that requires everything I got. I know that this dream will never be realized in my lifetime, but that does not discourage me, there is something symbolic about the desire and I cannot let it go. In the past year or so I’ve made a number decisions that make no sense unless there is a God and I am His friend. I left my corporate job and struck out on my own, following a dream I’ve long feared…The stakes I’m playing at now are immense-financially, sure, but more so spiritually, and realtionally. It’s requiring a concentration of body, soul and spirit I’ve never before endured. The other day I was feeling way out on the end of my rope…when out of my heart rose a question. What are we doing, God? And He replied “We are climbing Everest.”
Reading this I realized that there is challenge in front of each one of us to climb our own, personal Mt. Everests. While I know I will never actually get over to the Mt. Everest, when I survey my life-overcoming a cancer diagnosis, parenting triplets, planting a church–I have discovered this is the Everest God is having me climb.
So, how about you?