I read recently of the epitaph of a Swiss mountain climbing guide. All it said was ‘died climbing’. After considering this I realised that this is a perfect epitaph for every Christian.
The Christian life is well described as a race, a journey or a climb. The good news is that we have a guide and support on the climb who has descended from the highest peak to take our hand and help and encourage us. We never climb alone. It doesn’t matter if we are near the top or still making our way through the foothills. The important thing is that we are still moving upward, still climbing.
It has been said that the Christian life is ‘three steps forward and two steps backward’ and I believe that there is some truth in this but again it is not how fast we are ascending but the fact that we are still climbing. We must put aside doubts about our distance from the peak or rate of progress and ask His continual help to climb on. It is his strength, not ours, that makes the difference. In the worst bits he carries us.
The greatest praise we can receive while alive is, ‘still climbing’. May our epitaphs read, ‘died climbing’.