Climbing Mount Maunganui


I climbed Mount Maunganui last Saturday. It is on a peninsula north of Tauranga, New Zealand. It has an elevation of 761 feet. My Fitbit One gave me credit for 63 flights of stairs climbed going around and up the Mount. The summit of the Mount is reached by walking trails and stairs.

I’ve climbed the Mount several times, but it had been at least 6 to 8 years since my last climb. I had a pacemaker procedure last June, so I feel so much better now, that I thought I could climb the Mount again. Now, I still have asthma, so it wasn’t easy. Physically fit young men and women in their twenties running the Mount two or three times for exercise is a common sight. My pace was very slow and steady in comparison to theirs, but I made the climb.

Many of the challenging things we do in life are not done in one fell swoop like Superman’s ability “to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” We mentally break down the larger task into smaller ones that seem doable. I was doing that in this climb. I would look at a set of stairs and say, “I know that I can make it to the top of these stairs.” Or, I would see a trail that went up and around a curve. I would promise myself that I would walk that much of the trail, and then set another goal. I made it up the Mount setting smaller goals until I had reached the bigger goal. That strategy works on many things in life.

You may be wanting to become more regular in prayer and Bible reading. You may have physical fitness goals or educational goals. You may have areas to work on in a relationship. The reality is that big projects are accomplished as we are able to see the various smaller steps that make up the big project. As the old time management adage goes, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “one bite at a time.”

One of the problems climbing the Mount is that there is so much vegetation that you cannot see the top until you are very close. I had a runner who was descending the mount say to me, “Almost to the top, mate.” It was encouraging, and at that moment, I needed some encouragement. (I probably looked like I needed some encouragement too.) By the way, I wasn’t nearly as close to the top as I had hoped. Shortly after I heard those words, I came to a zig-zag staircase that discouraged me, but the words of encouragement kept me going.

Remember to give some encouragement along the way. We all need it in Christian living. We may need it in other areas of our life as well.

Here’s to the big, important things in our lives. Here’s to encouragement along the way. May you find new mountains to climb.

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