Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” In other words, our hearts have an ability to justify our actions, even when we know that they are sinful. We need help in guiding our minds.
Our hearts are like brains that have been oxygen deprived. In the high altitude with little oxygen, it is difficult to think clearly.
When people attempt to climb Mount Everest, they usually hire a guide to help them make it to the top. These guides don’t come cheap. But, they are very helpful in teaching you how to acclimatize your body and prepare for the difficulties of climbing above 26,000 feet. And, most importantly a guide is to help you to be clear-thinking when your life is at stake.
When the summit of Everest is in sight, people often get, “summit fever.” They see the peak. They have paid a boat-load of money to get to the peak. And so, they will ascend to their death. It has been said that getting to the top of Everest isn’t the challenge. It’s getting back down again that’s the challenge, in the thin air with danger all around, once you have spent all of your energy getting to the top.
Before the summit ascent, the guides will establish a “turn around time.” If you aren’t within spitting distance of the summit, you need to turn around and head back down. You won’t have the oxygen to last. You won’t have the energy to descend. You won’t have the daylight you need. The guide sets that time. You pay the guide to do all that they can do to enforce that time.
We need a guide for our hearts. The LORD is our guide. “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). He is our guide.
(Just last week, I read the great book, Into Thin Air, which recounts the events surrounding the deaths of eight climbers who died while attempting the climb. Another similar tragedy struck yesterday on Mount Everest).