Climbing Kilimanjaro or bed rest, which one is harder, a friend asked me recently. Both take mental strength, but I didn’t have to run and lift weights for nine months to prepare for bed rest. I posted previously about how our vacations have prepared me for bed rest, but it’s always fun to talk about Kilimanjaro so lets dig in.
5.5 days to the summit (19,341 feet) and 1.5 days to get back down. Below 10,000 feet is a lush rainforest but beyond that Kilimanjaro has almost no vegetation. On day 1 we passed 10,000 feet, making us above the rainforest and above the cloud line. The ground had changed from green to dusty dry rocks. It reminds me of a story Jesus tells in Matthew 13:
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.
When people hear God’s Word, there are a few responses:
1. Hears it, receives it with joy, but has no root, and falls away when there are hardships
2. Hears it, but is too concerned about worldly things, and therefore bears no fruit for God
3. Hears the word, understands it, and is fruitful
When we were walking through the rainforest of Kilimanjaro it was hard, it was steep, but there was shade from the trees. There were animals to see. We were surrounded by beautiful green trees. Walking on the dusty rocks was difficult. It was dirty and hot and hard to balance on some of the boulders. There was no vegetation and no animals. The only scenery was the summit, which always seemed miles and miles away.
Looking at the list, I want to be number three. I want to hear and understand God’s word. I want to put into practice what I learn in the Bible. What do you want to be?