It was the adventure of a lifetime.
Six breathtaking days up the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, starting first in lush rainforests and along crystal clear streams of snow melt, and ending (far, far above the trees) at the perilous edge of a dormant volcano. My heart cherishes many memories, but this trip was one for the books.
Our climbing team embarked from base camp a little after midnight on day six, hoping to officially reach summit by sunrise. In those first hours, the only lights to guide me were the campfires hundreds of feet below me, and the dim light of my meagre headlamp in front of me. The irony was not lost on me that I was quite literally trekking up Africa’s tallest and most picturesque mountain in utter darkness.
After five days on the trail my legs had started to tingle with signs of oxygen deprivation. It was the middle of the night, I was spent, and I so wanted to quit.
And yet up I went, stumbling over rocks and reciting rosary prayers on my mittened fingers, urged on by the thought that the summit just had to be close.
When I think about the perseverance of Saint James (see James 1:1-11), I think about that mountain I climbed so many years ago.
I think about how God urged me on with the beauty of delicate mountain flowers, curious colobus monkeys, and knee-bending ethereal blue glaciers. I think about the sheer relief that flowed through my body when the summit finally came into my field of vision. My perseverance hadn’t always been perfect and at times was far from joyful, but He still came to my aid. Every time.
These days, I don’t climb many 20,000-foot mountains. Living at 800 feet above sea level with my perfectly ordinary office gig and perfectly ordinary home life might seem to pale in comparison to those gutsy mountaineering days. But no matter the circumstance I know He still calls me to perfect perseverance.
What’s your summit today, Sisters? Let’s climb together.My perseverance hadn't always been perfect and at times was far from joyful, but He still came to my aid. // Karen Schultz Click To Tweet
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Karen Schultz hails from the Land of 10,000 lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. As a doula, lactation educator, and FertilityCare Practitioner, she finds joy in helping women to embrace the gift of their bodies. Downtime is found in quiet adoration chapels, farmers markets and gardens, listening to bluegrass music, and embracing the diversity of Minnesota’s seasons. She is a contributing author to our Works of Mercy Study: Misericordia. You can find out more about her here.