AN AMAZING FACT: At 29,035 feet, Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It was named after Sir George Everest, a British surveyor, in 1865. The mountain has actually had many different names, including Sagarmatha (Nepalese for ‘goddess of the sky’), Chomolungma (Tibetan for ‘mother goddess of the universe’), and the simple designation, ‘Peak 15.
If you decide to make the trip to Nepal to climb one of the highest mountains in the world, you’d better plan ahead. Reaching the tallest summits on our planet is not for the faint of heart. Many have died making little mistakes while trying to make it to the top. Oxygen levels are one-third of that of sea level amounts, so without supplemental air, you easily get foggy in your thinking. Energy levels plummet above the death zone—8,000 meters—where the amount of oxygen is not enough to sustain life.
Good mountain climbers respect the mountain. They know their limits. Perhaps the greatest tragedy on Mt. Everest took place in 1996, when several groups pushed beyond the turn-around time. It takes humility to admit defeat, turn around, and go back down.
David asks God in Psalm 15:1, “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” The Lord answers, “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart” (v. 2). To walk uprightly is to walk in humility. Philippians 2:3 explains it like this: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
The highest place we can climb is through bowing low in humility at the foot of Mt. Calvary where Jesus died for us. Christ lowered Himself to our earth that we might be lifted up with Him to heavenly places—mountains higher than even Mt. Everest.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15