"Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," – John 1:29

Stumbling

Stumbling

17th Sunday after Pentecost

Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink will by no means lose the reward – Mark 9:41
 
If you hike up Barr Trail, a trail with a 7,815 – foot incline that heads up the eastern side of Pikes Peak in Colorado, you’ll get a good workout. The incline is steep and steady. You’ll push yourself forward, about thirteen miles, at an incline grade of usually around 13-15 percent. But many prefer the punishment of that slow and steady trip going up Barr Trail to the descent.

 

Looking north down Barr Trail

Not only does the trip back down put incredible stress on the knees mile after mile, but if you go too fast, there is a high probability you will stumble. It’s a beautifully maintained trail, but jagged rocks just out everywhere – it is the “Rocky” mountains after all.
 
In this journey of faith, as we maneuver our way through the peaks and valleys of life, there’s also much that can trip us up. We get moving too fast, or become distracted by something along the way and we can tumble into a place where we lose sight of the path. We reason that we learn much from the distractions. We explain how it’s the stumbles and falls that have made us stronger, smarter in the long run.
 

1 mile left to go coming down Barr Trail. This is a photo of the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway Station looking down from Manatu MT.. You can take the train one way up to Barr Camp, or one way/round trip to the summit.

 

But as the smarter hiker knows that a safe trip down on Barr Trail happens slowly, carefully, on legs that have had a chance to rest a bit at the top – so we disciples need to remember to move purposefully and strategically, taking time for rest and refreshment for our spirits. Or as Jesus puts it: Whoever causes you to stumble, get rid of it! (Mark 9:42-48).

How will you make yourself ready for what is left of this faith journey? Are there trails you should avoid? Are there rocks and underbrush you need to clear out? How can you best prepare yourself to face the storms, the distance, and the obstacles?

 

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