We march into the battle of life, our banners flying, heads held up high. Inevitably, a company of loyal paraders bring up the rear, enthusiastically hurrahing their support.
We tramp through beautiful flat plains, butterflies flitting by and songbirds chirping their sweet approval. The road is well worn, trampled by so many feet who have gone before, the soft grass swishing paradoxically against our combat boots. Out come the peasant children, followed by the routine menagerie of chickens, dogs, goats and a few piglets, shouting and cheering their approval of the shiny flag and man in front. Men stop their wagons, women their wash and stare in admiration of this one who has it all together.
Then night falls. A penetrating chill pervades the air. The mountains are coming and fog rolls down in great blankets of white.
Some of our band raise their eyes to the snowy peaks and muttering out excuses about this or that turn back to the closest village for a place of rest.
Morning dawns, gray and unpromising. A few more whisper their good-byes and hunker out.
Lifting our banner of glory high for all to see, the march goes on, the wind whipping its colors into a dazzling show.
The trail gets rougher, full of rocky boulders, tricky river crossings, frightening precipices.
Turning to survey the view, we are shocked to see hundreds shucking their boots and turning back, heading down into fields of comfort and plenty.
Is there any point in carrying on? Is there any glory in going on alone? We look up at our once beautiful flag, now in fluttering shreds, the bitter mountain winds having done its due diligence.
All glory has fled. There is no banner, no lauding crowds, so few cheers of support.
And so the Lord thrusts our weary souls out to Arabia with Saul. He sends us to Sinai with Moses, to our tent doors with Job.
All of man’s fabricated pride and success, gone in a minute, foot sore and alone, the nagging question remains.
Is it worth it?
Is it worth the pain, the humility, the disregard of man to cross those forsaken paths alone?
I will declare it from the highest peak, from the lowest valley, from the clouds and from the sea beneath—it is worth every single step because when my glory is gone, HE ALONE reigns with glory and might and majesty and honor!
He alone is worthy.