Last summer, my family and I did some hiking on our vacation. One day we collectively decided to try to climb to the top of the nearby Pilot Rock. Pilot Rock is a columnar basalt volcanic core that has had its outer covering eroded away over time. It’s found fourteen miles SSE of Ashland, Oregon, and 1.6 miles north of the OR/CA border. The rock formation is easily visible from along a segment of I-5 and is said to have been a navigation marker for early pioneers traveling to and from California. It was a nice hot day and my family and I were all excited and looking forward to this grand and fun hiking adventure.
Along the base of the rock, the trail was clear and slowly winded back and forth. But as we continued to climb the rock, it became rather skinny and steep and we knew this climb would be a bit more than we had originally anticipated. We finally came to a place where it became so steep, that my youngest daughter Natalie became to frightened to continue on. So at this point, my sweet husband decided that we should all probably stop and call it a day.
I was SO itchy to get to the top, I couldn’t stand it. We were getting so close and yet I knew the last little bit would be extremely difficult. It’s funny because, typically that would be my husband and not me. But this day, I decided I would like to venture on and I asked my husband if he cared if I tried to make it to the top. Having the adventurous spirit he does, he agreed to let me press on and decided he would stay put with the kids while I continued up the rock. I don’t know if this was the best judgement on my part, but I was just excited to try it and I knew that if I could just reach the top, the view from there would be most spectacular.
We both had our cell phones with so I think that gave us a bit of security and sense of peace about the separation. I also had a bit of rock climbing experience which came in handy for a few sections I had to press through. At this point, the trail was no longer a trail and I was now climbing straight upward through crevasses and boulders.
As I struggled up the extremely steep face of the rock, I could hear voices above which propelled me onward even more. I knew that once I reached the top, that there were others there to share this cool experience with. About thirty minutes after separating from my family, I finally reached the top where there were five other ladies with a younger child. They thought I was rather crazy for coming up there all alone (and they were probably right).
I explained to them that it was their voices above had propelled me all the way to the top. We all laughed and enjoyed the spectacular view together. I took photo’s of their group and they took several of me so that I could share them with my family. The sights from the top of the rock were simply amazing. It was SO beautiful and SO breathtaking. From this vantage point, I could see the spectacular Mt. Mcloughlin, Mt. Shasta and Mt. Ashland as well as all the beauty of the surrounding area. It it was magnificent! Also in that moment, I was wishing all of my family could have been there with me to see and experience it!
In rethinking this story in my mind, I am reminded of a truth and it is this, that without the proper perspective, we lose sight of the big picture. What I mean by this is that we often get caught up in the day-to-day circumstances of our lives that we lose the proper perspective, God’s perspective. I shared in an earlier post that sometimes it’s been my incorrect focus that has thrown me off the most in my walk with the Lord. But the other area I also think that has also thrown me in loop at times has been my wrong perspective. We need to have the right perspective so that we know where to set our focus.
It’s just like when I was climbing this rock formation. It was a difficult climb and I couldn’t see anything but rock everywhere, but I knew that if I made it up to the summit, it would far outweigh all the difficulty of getting there. Often times in my life, day to day activity can sometimes get us stuck in the now of time. Satan uses this a tool to get our focus off God and onto the present circumstances in our lives. When that happens we loose our heavenly perspective. God wants us to set our thoughts on things above (Colossians 3:2). God designed each of us his children, with a plan and a purpose in mind. When we focus on the now, we tend to lose sight of our eternal purpose and thereby lose sight of our eternal perspective.
These are all things we know as believers in Christ. We all know that if we are his children, we can be sure of our destination, our heavenly home. But it’s Satan’s ploy to try to get us to focus on the wrong things in the here and now so that we become ineffective in doing things that will have eternal rewards. Satan loves to derail us any chance he gets. That’s why it’s SO important for us as believers to be washing ourselves daily in the word of God. God’s word helps us keep the proper perspective and when we dwell on it and memorize his word, it stays with us throughout the day and will often bring Satan’s ugly plans to a halt.
It says in 1 Corinthians 13:12 . . . For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Right now in this present time, we see a reflection of God’s perfect light, but when we get to heaven we will be with him and see him in his fullness. This gives us the proper perspective that in the here and now, we must always look to Christ and to seek His face to help us overcome the difficulties in this present time. His word gives us precious promises that help to sustain us for our journey here and we need to know and memorize them.
At times we have all been like the Israelites in their wanderings, seeking fulfillment in the present verses pressing on for the promise. Father God, please forgive us. Thank you for your word which gives light for our present journey. Teach us to number our days and to keep an eternal perspective so that we may be effective for you in the here and now. Give us the endurance to run the race and to help advance your kingdom here on earth. Thank you for the price you paid for each of us, your own precious blood. Help us to remember we are bought with a price, and that we are yours. Thank you that you have planted eternity in our hearts, help us to live for you. Help us keep our eyes fixed on you and to keep an eternal perspective. Thank you for your amazing love and your goodness to us! To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN