In the late 19th century during the golden age of alpinism, the English mountaineer Edward Whymper led an expedition to conquer one of the last mountain peaks of the Great Alps, the Matterhorn. He and others had failed in many attempts to climb the Italian side of the mountain, yet in 1865 with new hope, Whymper discovered that it was easier to ascend the summit on the Swiss or eastern side. Whymper stated of the successful climb on July 14, 1865, “The whole of this great slope was now revealed, rising for 3,000 feet like a huge natural staircase.”
What is your mountain? What are the heights that you want to ascend? Many times as leaders, we don’t know what the next step is up the mountain that is right in front of us.
Working on a Time Crunch
As leaders and students on campuses, we fail to realize how short our time is. When we are serving and praying for our ministries, we forget the urgency of the work we are about, and play around with preconceived notions regarding our time on earth.
Life is short and we need to realize the roles and opportunities we have during the four years we are on campus to love those around us and those we serve. Nelson Mandela said, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”
All of life is about bringing glory to God. Finishing well is a good idea. But the best view of life is to realize that Jesus is the greatest thing in time and eternity and everything is ultimately about Him and His glory.
Step by Step
We can climb our mountain one step at a time. I want to encourage you to realize that you can do it, but not in your own strength. Unless God goes with you, it’s not going happen. We don’t have to worry about how to get to the summit; we just need to believe His power is sufficient to help and guide us through the next step.
Some of the hardest steps that we take in life are the ones that take us into the valley of death. While there, we need to have faith in God despite the circumstances and hardship we may face–because something will bloom out of that experience that will be for God’s glory. When we take a step, sometimes we’re walking through the darkness, but we remember that we serve a big God. There will come a day when we will thank God for bringing us through that valley.
As you continue to take the next step in your walk to make Jesus known on your campus through your mission communities, through prayer, consider the following words. As Louie Giglio said, “When you take a step you’re tested and refined. The next thing that happens is you learn God is able. Then you learn humility and that God is enough.” Or as Paul put it, “When I am weak, I am strong.”
Take the Leap
When you go through the valley, you learn that God is enough. His grace is sufficient. I don’t know what your next step is today, but God’s grace is enough for you. It might be an ordinary step. It might be a bold step. But God will give you the grace to take the step that He is calling you take.
All of this makes us long for the very last step–when we fall into the arms of Jesus. Falling into the arms of Jesus is our goal! When you fall into His arms one day, no price will have been too high to pay and no sacrifice too great. You will say on that day, “I’m so glad I didn’t quit. I’m so glad that I kept going up my mountain.”
Don’t quit. Don’t stop walking in the confidence that Christ is enough to fulfill every purpose that He has called you to be about.
Anthony Deng is the New York City Metro Campus Coordinator for Campus Renewal. He leads and coordinates volunteers for events such as One Cry and helps facilitate the New York City Metro Area student core team. Anthony was born and raised in New York City, graduated from CUNY the City College of New York, and has a B.A in History and Asian Studies. Anthony gives New York City tours to freshmen of various campuses. On his tour, he teaches and shows students various hidden gems of New York City. On the side, he loves to collect college sweatshirts and t-shirts. In addition, he loves to play and watch basketball and football. He an avid fan of the Pacers & Colts.