The Internal Climb to Freedom

Climbing the Mountain A friend of mine is teaching me a lot about climbing mountains. As a confirmed flatlander I have never understood why a person would climb anything that did not have clearly marked trails and manageable switchbacks, yet, as I hear him talk about the thrill of conquering a mountain I get a twinge that could almost (note the word, almost) motivate me to seek a summit.

I have actually been to the top of two peaks. However, I am a true amateur and my friend would not count either one of my adventures as having “been to the top”. One was about 2200 feet and the other was 7000 feet, but, the view, even there, was magnificent.

As he and I have talked about his adventures, I have also been able to make some connections with the spiritual journey. I am convinced that some of the largest mountains to be conquered are our internal mountains. It takes great courage to climb any mountain, but, I would submit that it takes the most courage to begin to conquer the internal mountains. These internal mountains take many forms: addictive behavior, deep fear, woundedness, father hunger, anxiety, and many others. Those who take the internal climb learn a lot about what it means to journey with God.

I sit with people in spiritual direction sessions and see a great deal of courage as, together we listen for that voice of God to give direction to the journey. I see the release as summits are conquered and wounds healed. God gives strength for each step of the journey and provides the courage to face the fear. What results is freedom.

God has set us free in Christ. No doubt! But most live as if the resurrection never happened. The internal climb helps us release those things that hold us back and keep us from seeing the freedom that is ours in Christ. The internal climb is a the daily conversion that comes in confession and absolution; as Luther calls it, “the daily dying and rising.” In our baptism we descended with Christ into His death and were resurrected with Him into new life.

The journey begins with the first step. An examination of life. A time of silence and prayer. The discernment of the Holy Spirit. The confession. The absolution. The freedom.

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