Article Display
Email  |  My Account  |  Donate
I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The hotel was right by Camelback Mountain. I went with my boss and one of our bank directors, a retired business entrepreneur. On the second day, my boss said to us, “Let’s skip tomorrow afternoon sessions and let’s go climb Camelback Mountain.”

I immediately said yes, and the next day we went on our adventure.

To climb a mountain can take months of preparation to be physically fit to endure the hike. You need some tools and equipment to make it to the top. The only reason I was confident I could climb the mountain is because I had been working out a lot harder in the previous year than I ever had before. I know this was a little mountain—only 1.2 miles up—but it was my first mountain. I was very excited to make the climb.

Part of being prepared was to have the right clothing. My boss and I both had workout clothes. Our friend had tennis shoes but no workout clothes. He also had an issue with his knee, so after the first five minutes into the trip, our friend decided to go to the side and enjoy the view and the restful time. He encouraged us to continue the journey without him. I had also brought a bottle of water, but my boss had to carry it for me in his shorts’ pocket because I needed both hands to climb up. He didn’t bring water, which he regretted later.

As we continued to climb up the one- and two-feet high rocks, we started to sweat and needed the water. But guess what? I was the only one with the water bottle. No matter how many times I offered to share my water, my boss said no, that he was fine. At one point, he was lightheaded and told me to say good-bye to his wife and kids for him (kiddingly).

Several times he wanted to go back because he felt bad that our friend was alone waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain. I gave him a hard time and told him, “Are you using that as an excuse so you can stop and go back?” Before he had time to respond, I said, “No way, we’re climbing up and are going all the way up to the top!” And we did.

We stopped a couple of times to enjoy the view (and catch our breath). When we finally made it to the top, we had a 360-degree view of the city. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. When it was time to come down—the descent was scarier than going up. If I missed a step, I was going down! When we reached the bottom, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment that I’ve never felt before.

So here is what I learned from this experience:
During our lives we will have a mountain or mountains to climb, and we need to be ready when the moment comes. These mountains are the job opportunities that come our way, struggles we encounter, and experiences we live through during the course of our lives. God will open up opportunities for each of us, and we need to be ready to jump with both feet and take the step in faith.

The preparation needed is threefold: physical, mental, and spiritual. If you follow the analogy of climbing the mountain, physically you need to be in good cardio shape so you can climb. It takes a lot of effort and training to go up and actually make it to the top. Right there on Camelback they told us that, on average, three people die per year—one of a heart attack and two others get off the trail and fall off a cliff. Part of the physical preparation you need is to acquire knowledge, which starts in school. Formal education is key to succeed in the business world.

You will also need to study the mountain you decide to climb. Learn what the dangers are, what the opportunities are, and the challenges you may encounter. You need to do your homework. Then you will need to create a plan and follow it, but be flexible for unforeseen circumstances that will require a change in course. However, don’t get so off course that you lose sight of where you were going in the first place and end up falling off a cliff. Get used to asking yourself the questions, Why am I here? What does God want me to learn from this situation (good or bad)? What am I afraid of? Am I having fun? Being aware of your circumstances can help you make decisions down the road or even save your life.

You need to prepare and train yourself mentally to stay focused, dedicated, and disciplined enough to not quit. You need to be prepared to make tough decisions when you are presented with more than one way to climb the mountain but both are difficult. You need to be okay when one of your friends is left behind. You need to accept the fact that not everyone will make it to the top. Many will choose to go back. Others will simply stop at a certain level and stay there. Yet others will follow you to the top and be right there with you. You need to know if you are ready and willing to take the responsibility to lead the team, which means you need additional training and strength. You also need to be okay following others. During the journey, you may start following the leader, but during the hike, he or she may turn the leadership to you for whatever reason. You need to be ready to help others, share your resources, and help coworkers when they are tired and need a hand to climb over that hard spot.

When you follow, make sure you follow by choice. Look where your leader is going, make an assessment of his or her route and then choose to follow him or her. Sometimes you may choose to go another route that will get you to your goal as well but was easier for you. Sometimes you will make a mistake and what you thought was best turned out to be worst. Be ready in those times to admit you made a mistake and apologize, if necessary. Share what you learned with others who come after you.

Source: The Fire Within by Marcia Malzahn
Excerpt permission granted by Malzahn Publishing, Inc.

Author Biography

Marcia Malzahn
Web site: Marcia Malzahn
Marcia is the author of her book Devotions for Working Women – A Daily Inspiration to Live a Successful and Balanced Life published in 2006. Marcia published her second book The Fire Within – Connect Your Gifts with Your Calling in October 2015. Marcia and her husband Tim live in Minnesota and have two children: Nicole and Patrick. Marcia enjoys spending time with her family, working out, singing, writing, and public speaking.

About Us

The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.




Support Us

Why support cfaith?

(All contributions are 100% tax deductible)


For every Internet search you make using
goodsearch, cfaith will receive one penny!

GS Logo 250x38

Contact Us

Business Hours:

Monday—Friday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. CST
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


(763) 488-7800 or (800) 748-8107

Mailing Address:
9201 75th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428


Login Form

Please ignore the “Secret Key” field; it is not needed to log in to cfaith.

Login Change Article

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.