|Macchu Piccu with Wayna Piccu in Background ~August 2009|
Sometimes, it’s the coming back down the hill that’s the hardest. You see something, you learn something, you experience something new and exciting, and then eventually you have to turn around and come back down to where you started.
When I climbed Wayna Picchu, the hill next to Machu Picchu, I had to write my name and country of origin on a ledger at the shack near the trail head. A rather ominous beginning. Walking up those tiny ancient steps, I couldn’t understand why the people going down didn’t give way. I figured it out soon enough.
The view at the top overlooking Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River valley was breathtaking. After walking around the ruins on top and siting for a while to enjoy the view, we began our trip back down the hill and this is when I discovered that going back down was much harder than going up. Maybe because going up I was hiking into the unknown. Maybe because looking up, I didn’t think about how these tiny little steps were perched precariously into the mountain face. Maybe, because now that I was going where I had already been, the thrill was gone and in its place returned my fear of heights and falling from them.
Maybe that’s what happened after Jesus’ fed the 5,000 on the side of a hill. When it was over, his followers had to go back down and take what they’d experienced and learned and go back to their work-a-day lives. I mean when was the last time you were in a place for an extended period of time over with 5,000 people? And even more astounding, when were all of those people fed to satisfaction with the equivalents of two peoples sack lunches?
Central Park Summer Stage seats 5,000 as does the McMenamin’s Edgefield Lawn. The Gershwin Theater, the largest of Broadway’s theaters, seats 1,900 and the Keller Auditorium, Portland’s largest theater, seats 2,992. So, feeding 5,000 men (number doesn’t include the women and children in attendance) with only five loaves of bread and two fishes is rather epic. Not to mention the life-changing experience of watching Jesus physically heal a few thousand people. Those 5,000+ in attendance were changed by that experience. The 12 men closest to Jesus, witnessing the miracle right in front of their eyes were changed as well. And then Jesus sent them back down the hillside and out on a boat without him for a few hours.
|Ride:Well Team Celebrating Success~ Portland ~June 2012|
My church just hosted a team of Ride:Well folks. They rode their bicycles around 450 miles in five days to raise awareness and support for Blood:Water Mission. They are not the same people they were a week ago. But they are returning to lives and places that are relatively unchanged.
So what do we do with this? Well, eventually Jesus met his disciples at the bottom of the hill and when he did, one of them, Peter, walked on water. I pray y’all walk on water, too.
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. ~Matthew 14:29