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Mountain Climbing in 3G

(Alps Report #3)

 David Alan Black 

If you're going to climb the Alps someday, you'd better have these three "Gs." They are:

1) A great goal. You need to think big when you climb. Ask yourself: What is my personal Everest? Of course, make sure your goal is physically possible. Otherwise, now is not the time for small goals. Life is way too short for that. Go for it!

2) A great God. It's time to go from afraid to courageous. Make a list of all your climbing fears, write a big "X" over them, and then crumple the paper up and throw it away. Behind all fear is the question: "Can I really depend on God's unconditional love?" The answer? Of course you can! If you are a Christian, didn't you trust in Jesus as the one who died for your sins and rose again? And by trusting in Him (rather than in your own "righteousness"), didn't God give you the greatest gift of all -- Himself? When we live in fear, we limit the impact of what God wants to do through us. God created each and every one of us to do something unique for His glory. So don't put Him in a box. The more we focus on the bigness of God, the smaller our fears will become.

3) A great guide. I once met a couple who had tried to summit a very tall mountain. They tried and tried but kept getting lost on the giant peak. When I suggested to them that they might want to consider hiring a certified mountain guide, they scoured, "We don't need a guide!" Friend, when you're climbing a peak like the Matterhorn, you have to be über-prepared. For me, an essential element of preparedness was hiring a professional mountain guide. But be careful who you get. In my book, a great guide is someone who:

  • Cares more for you than for himself or his business.
  • Knows when to push and when to hold back.
  • Makes safety his number one priority.
  • Gives more when others give up.
  • Shares your dogged resolve to accomplish big goals.
  • Rolls with the punches (that is, is flexible and resilient).
  • Is personable and outgoing.

My mountain guide, Walter Rossini, was all of the above -- and much much more! I can't recommended him highly enough. (His website is Rossini Guiding.)

So there you have it -- the 3Gs of mountaineering: A great goal, a great God, and a great guide. 

Above the gates at Delphi, Greece, stands a brief inscription:

Know thyself.

Before attempting to climb the Alps, my friend, you have to understand yourself. Your dreams. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. This is your life, not somebody else's. Live it with a purpose. Be bold with it. On each of my climbs in the Alps I felt God's presence with me in a supernatural way. I was in tune with myself. I was in tune with the mountain. And I was in tune with the one who created the mountain. I found myself exploring my personal limits -- and loving it. William Blake once wrote:

Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling on the street.

And the greatest mountain you will ever face is the mountain of the mind.

Climb on!


July 23, 2016

David Alan Black is the editor of

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