Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Mount Everest. On May 29, 1953, he scaled the highest mountain then known to man - 29,000 feet above sea level. He was knighted for his efforts.
If we only view Sir Edmund Hillary through the lens of success in 1953, we fail to grasp his former struggles and failure. In his book, “High Adventure”, Hillary points out that he had to grow into his 1953 success. A year earlier, in 1952 he attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. A few weeks after his failure, a group gathered in England asked him to address its members.
Hillary walked on stage to thunderous applause. The audience was recognizing an attempt at greatness. The audience saw a man who had tried and almost succeeded. That was not Edmund Hillary’s view of himself. He saw himself as a failure. Instead of basking in the applause, Hillary moved away from the microphone and walked to the edge of the platform. He made a fist and pointed at a picture of the mountain. With a loud voice he said, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time because you’ve grown all you are going to grow... but I’m still growing!”
We often face those challenging mountains in our pathway of life, items that seem immovable and stifle our hopes and dreams. Those large problem areas in our lives that confront and test our well-being. Sometimes in our journey through life we focus too much on the problem and not enough on the answer.
To those mountains that appear unconquerable, some may say that we need great faith. The scriptures reveal the size of faith we need, that is, the faith of a mustard seed. When you see a mustard seed it is small and you don’t immediately think of the hidden potential. We see a mustard seed for what it is and not so much on what it has the potential to become. Those who plant this seed find out that it has the ability within to grow and grow and grow and does not stay the same.
We need a mustard seed type of faith for life, one that is willing to grow and grow and grow as we journey in life through or past those challenging areas. Hillary did not stop with defeat, he kept growing in his desire, ability and determination to reach the top. Don’t give up but press forward with faith that God goes with us each step of our journey. It is not who we are but who we can become with mustard seed faith that keeps growing and not retreating.