I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, June 10, 2011

The View From the Top is Worth the Climb!

It was a frigid day on May 25, 2001. For Erik Weihenmayer, his thick parka and other gear did little to shield him from the ice and snow, yet he felt compelled to take a little walk…straight up to the summit of Mt. Everest. He and his team clawed their way to the highest point on earth in unbearable conditions. They sucked in what tiny bit of oxygen the air contains at 29,000 feet. Their lungs burned and their frozen fingers throbbed with each grasp of their ice picks.

Erik and his team finally reached the summit after two months of treacherous climbing. They stood in the only spot on earth were a human can see over 200 miles in any direction. Erik was jubilant. His heart pounded for actually being at the peak of the highest mountain on earth. And yet, while others on his team scanned the jagged horizon, Erik stood in darkness. He could not see the beauty that surrounded him. Why?

 Erik is blind.

Erik is the first blind man ever to scale Mt. Everest. Despite his blindness, Erik assembled a trusted team, purchased gear and set off on his journey. When the storms came, he hunkered down. When things were difficult, he put one foot in front of the other. He inched forward and upward, gaining tiny bits of ground, until he stood where few men have ever been.

Our writing resembles Erik’s journey in so many ways. We write under harsh conditions. Emotionally, we experience frigid cold from those who should warm our hearts. Yet we have a goal ... to make it to the top. We struggle, pull, slip and fall. Sometimes we can’t even see the dangers in front of us.

I know at the moment he reached the summit, Erik did not feel blind. In fact, it probably never even crossed his mind as he soaked it all in. All the suffering, time and disappointments in his life faded into insignificance the moment he planted his feet squarely at the top of the world.

Next time you feel like you can’t see where you’re going on your writing journey, don’t worry. Just keep climbing. One bright, sunny day, you will stand at the top of the literary world with a view that only a few ever see!

What obstacles are you facing in your writing life? Like Erik, do you have a team that's helping you  reach your goal? How can they help you conquer one challenge in the upcoming week?

Reba J. Hoffman


  1. Reba, what an inspirational post! So glad you shared the story of Erik Weihenmayer. I appreciate your encouragement to look beyond the circumstances in my writing life, to keep pressing onward and to not give up in that process.

    As for the obstacles I face, the biggest right now is probably time, as well as knowing what the next step is in my story--got the big picture, figuring out the next step is "scaring " me a bit. God has blessed me with encouragers as I proceed forward. Not giving up though!

    As for the challenge, I will spend time writing and just put words on paper. Then, I'll fix and focus later. Thanks for your great words, Reba!

  2. Biggest obstacle: Real life versus writing life. Using time for the one (real life) and then not having it for the other (writing life.)
    I need to go back and see what else I say no to.

  3. Reba, what an inspiring and awesome post. It really made me put things into perspective. Sometimes it is so hard to keep writing when so many things pull me in a different direction. I have to keep reminding myself what that "best" thing is that God wants for me.

  4. Wow. What an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Love this post. Right now, my biggest obstacle is juggling my day job with family, home and writing. All are so very important, but the hours in the day stretch only so far.

    Creating a schedule for post-day job hours is helping to maximize my time.

  6. I'm in the same boat. I often feel pulled in multiple directions as I try to balance the same things....family, work, and church. I try to write at night but so often, I'm tired. Couldn't imagine climbing The mountain....much less blind.

    Awesome post.


  7. So true, Reba.

    Obstacles--Probably keeping energy levels high enough to accomplish good work in evenings. MBT 'team' helps keep connected and jazzed.

    And, as always, your inspirational prayers.:)