The view was amazing! My heart was pounding and my legs were nearly ready to collapse beneath me, and then my eyes drank in the captivating view as I reached the top of the tallest spire in southern Germany, Ulm Munster Cathedral.
With no elevator in sight, my husband, our three friends, and I had no choice but to climb all 768 stairs - one at a time. Excited for the adventure that awaited us, we lifted our out-of-shape legs to make the climb that required several stops for catching our breath and resting our aching muscles. The view at the top was worth every bit of energy and determination required to succeed!
A quick jet to the top in an elevator would have yielded the same view, but not the appreciation and satisfaction of having made the grueling climb one step at a time. Much of the reward was in the journey. As we ascended, we savored the sites through the slatted stairwell, indulged in somewhat giddy conversation, took time to rest along the way, and encouraged each other to keep going. No one was in a hurry to leave the others behind.
Our unique roles as ministry women place us in situations where we need to be reminded that there is a view at the top of the stairs. We need to find joy in the journey, realizing that we will also need stops along the way to catch our breath. Allow yourself opportunity to savor the experiences and anticipate the good things ahead.
Where are you on the stairs? Are you just beginning? Have you stopped to catch your breath? Do you need encouragement to keep going? Remember, the view from the top cannot be attained unless you take that first step. It may seem daunting, even scary. You can count on being stretched...and strengthened,,,as you continue upward. Realize the climb is not about how quickly you get to the top, but how you take the stairs to reach the top. Determine to "...press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (you) heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:13)