I love the challenge of hills when riding my bicycle. The thrill of being able to get to the top of a hill without getting off and pushing the bike is usually matched by the thrill and speed of the descent. Hills are a different matter when I am driving a car, where my focus these days is on the trip computer and how miles I am able to cover for each gallon of fuel.
During my frequent journeys from home to Heathrow Airport I can usually get the MPG reading up into the mid-fifties on my diesel powered Ford Galaxy. That is quite an achievement for such a large vehicle and one that makes me proud. Unfortunately, there is a tedious hill on the other side of Gloucester that brings me back down to earth as it zaps my MPG during the excruciating climb to the top. I hate Critchley Hill. If the hill wasn’t there who knows what MPG I could achieve by the time I reached Heathrow.
Things might be different if I lived in Holland or Belgium where there are no hills. How boring! Perhaps hills aren’t so bad? They are everywhere in this country and they remind me that life is not straightforward or flat. There are hills to be climbed and sometimes they zap our energy so effectively that we feel as if we will never, ever reach the top. But wouldn’t life be mundane without the challenge of hills?
If there is a hill in your life at the moment it is possible that you feel as if you are sliding back down to the bottom, instead of making progress to the top. You know that your energy is failing and you feel as if you have nothing left to give. If you were riding a bicycle this would be a good point to stop, get your breath back, eat an energy bar, and drink some water. So why do you keep trying to reach the top when you are exhausted? Don’t you remember that Jesus slept in a storm. There was no point in using the oars, so He shut His eyes and took time out from the wind and the waves. Hills, fences, storms, wind, waves, whatever the obstacle or problem might be, God knows. Now might be a good time to make time to talk to Him about it.
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! (Matthew 8:23-27 NIV)