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Posted by on November 10, 2014

How can you relax while climbing?

Coffee - Camp coffeepot2I’m not sure, but I managed to pull it off.

It was just yesterday morning God woke me with new orders to break camp, pack up and get back to climbing toward who and what He has in mind for me.  Since I literally owe my life to Him, I listened.

  • Everything stuffed back where it belongs.  Check.
  • Load distributed evenly.  Check.
  • Water bottle handy.  Double check.
  • Camp site clean and ready for the next traveler.  Check.
  • Route and directions.  Check.

I’d made a satisfactory start and was feeling good about myself, congratulating myself for being so obedient.  I even paused long enough this morning to set up my tiny little Sterno can burner and heat up a cup of–Mm-mm.  Nothing better on a chilly Fall morning than a mountain view and a hot cup of joe.

Coffee - humor3

While resting and finishing my cup, I checked today’s devotional Scripture lesson . . .  Lessee–Ephesians 6:10-12.  Here’s what I read:

“Dear Father, King, and Commander of the holy armies,

Though You have lifted me up to reign in the heavenly places with Christ, remind me that Your armies are engaged in a fierce struggle to take earth for heaven.

Don’t let me relax as if there is no war going on. This is not a time of peace. Never let me let down my guard and fail to look to my armament. May I be strong in You and in the strength of Your might!

In the name of Jesus, the faithful warrior, I pray. Amen.”

Huh.  Right in the middle of my self-congratulatory mood, I suddenly looked around, seeing with different eyes.  I was indeed climbing again in a sincere desire to follow God’s timing and plan for me.  That’s a solitary pursuit.


So we’re good here.  Nunh.  We’re not.  I’m not.  I  had my weapon where I couldn’t easily reach it, true.  But worse yet, I had not been watching as I climbed. 

“Don’t let me relax as if there is no war going on…”

I hadn’t been watching.  Well, yeah, but you’re on a mountain, for cryin’ out loud.  Where’s the threat up here, dude?

I.  hadn’t.  been.  watching.

  • careless words
  • unfiltered thoughts
  • imagination off the leash, out playing when it should’ve been praying
  • ‘silly’ on point with veteran on drag

“Never let me let down my guard and fail to look to my armament…”

  • foolish assumptions
  • taking others’ thoughts and feelings for granted
  • rookie mistakes
  • unnecessary noise on the trail

Now, hold up.  Aren’t you being a little hard on yourself, Mr. Recovering Perfectionist?  You’re up here by yourself!

Hey.  I may be by myself up here, but nobody lives or dies to himself.  There’s always somebody looking on whose life is being influenced and touched by mine.  At any moment, my thoughts and words and actions may make the difference in someone else’s joy or sorrow.

I’m not really up here, or anywhere else for that matter, by myself.


I’d let down my guard.  Hadn’t been practicing the first rule in Injun Country:  situational awareness.  Always know what’s happening around me.  And since we’re talking about spiritual things, that includes what’s happening IN me.

“May I be strong in You and in the strength of Your might…!”

Wow.  I made sure my little burner had cooled off and repacked it.  As I drained the last couple of sips of coffee and stowed my cup, I was thinking.

  • Who’d I negatively influence yesterday by my giddy thoughtlessness?  Oh, c’mon, man–you’d just broken camp, you were tired but glad to be back on the trail again, and be— Hey.  HEY.  Shut up.  You’re making excuses and you’re distracting me.  In a war zone, that’s usually lethal.  ‘War zone’?  Really?  Playing your silly little mind games, here—  WHAT’D I JUST SAY?  It’s not silly if someone else suffers because I wasn’t paying attention.
  • What could’ve happened while I was unwary and not paying attention?

As I shrugged back into my load-bearing harness and began cautiously climbing again, I was back in the moment, watching around me, weapon close to hand, alert to the Holy Spirit’s slightest promptings.  Whatever did happen, I have to leave it in God’s hands and pray I can at some point make it right.

Aren’t you taking this a little too seri—-  I immediately whirled, shrugging out of my pack as I drew my weapon.

The second rule in Injun Country is that not everyone who smiles at you is your friend.  And we just now figured it out, didn’t we?

I’m not really up here, or anywhere else for that matter, by myself.

Am I?

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Huh.  Never off-duty.

I may be physically alone – even lonely.  Yet my thoughts, my words and my actions each day will have an impact on those listening and watching.

And there are always those listening and watching.

Aren’t there?

© D. Dean Boone, November 2014



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