I vividly remember climbing Ayers Rock (now Uluru) at the age of 15 whilst on a school trip. The steep climbing face presented itself as a considerable challenge to stamina and persistence. The climbing face represents the bulk (if not all) of the elevation from ground level, but is less than half of the distance to the marker which designates the completion of the climb, and where you can sign the “visitors book”.
Plaques have been placed at the base of the climbing face to remember people who have lost their lives climbing Uluru — the majority of them did not lose it on the steep climbing face. Instead they confronted danger in the relatively easy going of the flat trail across the top, by stumbling in fog, or wandering from the designated path. Having overcome the initial challenge of the climb, they relaxed and ignored very real dangers still ahead.
As we enter 1996, we need to be careful about where we head during the year. Some of us have come out of some significant challenges in 1995. As a church we have struggled with giving expression to the vision that God has given us for the future. It may seem somewhat easier in the light of the past year, but we dare not wander carelessly. How easy it can be to lose our way, having done the initial hard work of overcoming a significant hurdle.
The task of being
the community of Jesus’ followers involves care and commitment by every
person at every stage of the journey. Indeed, when the going seems
a little easier, then perhaps the dangers are more potent. The big
things still remain, and the little things are equally important.
We have climbed a significant mountain in identifying God’s vision for us and putting it into words. But the journey has only begun. There are significant steps still ahead for us - for the journey does not end until we stand in the presence of the Book of Life.
February 4, 1996
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