Timberline Trails Logo Summit Fever/Tunnel Vision

Summit Fever / Tunnel Vision- Conditions were poor for a summit bid on Split Mountain that day, but we decided to continue anyway. Ignoring many warning signs we climbed on (even though it was becoming obvious that we were not going to make the summit and get back down to camp before dark). We had invested so much time and energy in our bid for the top that there was no way that I wanted to turn back. I even told myself, that if necessary, we could spend the night out without any mishap (even though temperatures were continuing to drop and the wind was picking up). Needless to say, we spent the night out in the open with well below freezing temperatures, and I ended up with frostbite on several toes for all my efforts.

Isn't that the way it is spiritually at times. Too often, we invest time and energy into some area of our life that is either outside God's will, or not within His timing. However, we push ahead anyway, and end up paying a steep price for our efforts. When a mountain climber gets summit fever, tunnel vision sets in, and danger signs go unheeded. Summit fever has a way of clouded the decision making process.

Too often, we get single minded when it comes to our own agenda, and try to get others to join in our folly. We fail to check God's Word, the ultimate instrument for guidance, and end up paying the price. When we get into this pattern, we need to stop and take time out to check the guide book. Only in this way will we be able to determine what we should do. God's Word will tell us if we should go on, or turn around (repent). If we fail to do this, unwelcome consequences will certainly come our way. We must remember "God is not mocked for whatever a man sows that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7) If we ignore clear warning signs of impending danger, we can only look to ourselves for blame when things do not turn out well. And sometimes we just need to wait. There have certainly been times when I should have turned back on a particular climb, and waited for better conditions. "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31) We need to remember this verse, when we are tempted to go forward, when God tells us to wait, or come back later. God's timing is always best.

Finally, if we are to become fixated on anything, or be driven to the point of summit fever, let us make sure that we are on the right mountain. The base of the mountain is called Calvary. That is where Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins. We cannot even get on the lower slopes apart from His finished work on the cross. From there, we need to start up the slopes. Its a lifetime journey, but summit fever on this mountain is a good thing, because it leads to a day when we shall be with the Lord forever. So in the meantime, as we work our way up the slopes, let us be of the same mindset as the Apostle Paul "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." (Philippians 3:12)

Press on fellow traveler, the summit is just coming into view.
Dave French

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