There is a hill in Edinburgh, Scotland called Calton Hill. Famous for its historic monuments, it stands tall in the midst of rolling streets and landmarks. On the summit is a National Monument, patterned after the Parthenon in Greece. Also found is a landmark, dedicated to the memory of Lord Nelson’s tragic loss of life at Trafalgar. There are different ways to its summit but one, in particular, reveals steps that rise ever upward. To the young at heart the climb may take five minutes or less. To those more seasoned in life, the glance upward may seem like an insurmountable task.
Yet with determined resolve, I began the journey upward but resolve quickly devolved into tired legs and gasping breaths. A glance upward showed that the journey had just begun. With but a pause, I pressed forward to another level, as once more my body reminded me that the days of youth were but a distant memory, a far distant memory.
Maybe it’s better to settle only for what is within reach.
With legs rested and still gasping, I pressed on once more, until I began to glimpse what lay before the determined. The monuments, standing tall, began to invite me, almost calling me by name; the echoes of the Napoleonic Wars, now enshrined in the National Monument; the cannon fire at Trafalgar, now encased in the monument to Nelson. But it’s not for that reason that I stood in awe of Calton Hill. I was there for another reason, for it was on this hill, in May 25 and 27, 1764 George Whitefield preached to the large crowds who had gathered. Though the wind howled and a storm brewed, Whitefield pressed on so that all could hear his life changing message. Calton Hill may hold monuments to dead heroes, but the destinies of lives were forever changed in that place.
Is it worth it?
For me the answer is a resounding yes for without the determination to succeed, I would have stayed on the lower levels and missed the view from the top. How about your journey? Finding it difficult? Ready to quit? It’s okay to pause and catch our breath but after the pause, we have a choice. Do we return to the lower levels, to that which is within reach? Do we settle only for what is near at hand or do we keep pressing onward and upward, keeping our eyes fixed on the goal and our heart set on what awaits us? Only you can answer this.