Summary: Life is a mountain we all must climb.


1. God gives everyone a mountain to climb, but each mountain is different.

a. Some steep.

b. Some dangerous.

c. Some beautiful.

d. Some mountainous.

2. Your mountain climb is determined by:

a. Your parents.

b. Your neighborhood.

c. Your schooling.

d. Your friends; your physical makeup.

3. You have various mountains in life.

a. Physical.

b. Financial/vocational.

c. Ministry.

d. Marriage.

e. Children.

f. Education.

4. God has determined your mountain but you determine what you will do with your challenge. “This one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind and looking forward to those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).

5. Reverse. The young “think they know” a lot about their mountains, but on the top you “know what they think.”

Age 20 – we desire to wake up married

Age 30 – we desire to wake up with a job

Age 40 – we desire to wake up successful

Age 50 – we desire to wake up rich

Age 60 – we desire to wake up contented

Age 70 – we desire to wake up healthy

Age 80 – we desire to wake up!


1. You look back with understanding, whereas those climbing look forward with doubts and questions.

a. Rule: pay now, play later, i.e. learn early, enjoy later. “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lam. 3:27).

b. I reject the idea older means less useful. The team that plays the best in the 4th quarter usually wins.

c. The remaining years in life - like the 4th quarter – determines the results of life. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

d. You never reach the top if you stop a few yards short.

2. What you achieve at the top is built on what you learned at the beginning of the journey, so begin well and finish well.

3. The greatest thing about climbing near the top is you are still living, learning and growing.

a. The coach takes some out of the game and they don’t finish because they quit playing their best and they didn’t help the team.

b. If you are still playing at the end of the game, the coach believes in you and you can get the job done.

4. The closer you get to the top, the more comfortable you get with the daily task of climbing.

a. Most don’t know what they can do when they start climbing a great mountain.

b. One of the guiding principles of the older: they know what they can’t do, and they know who they are not.

5. Even though it’s more comfortable at the top, climbing never gets any easier.

a. Life is finite. “Man that is born of woman . . . is full of trouble” (Job 14:1). “In old age your arms will be weak and your legs will be feeble” (Eccl. 12:3, Prayer Bible).

b. The enemy is unrelenting and patient.

6. The longer you climb, the more comfortable you get with family, friends, and team members.

a. When I was younger I wanted everyone to be like me and do things my way.

b. I’ve learned, accepted and made use of different spiritual gifts, personalities, and skills.

c. I’ve learned that others can do it better than me and different than me.

7. The closer you get to the top, the better your vision of things behind you, and challenges before you.

See first – see most – see farther into the future

8. The closer to the top the better you see the path to the top and what you have to do to finish.

a. You know what doesn’t work.

b. You can apply what works.

c. You probably know easier and quicker ways to get it done.

9. The closer to the top, the more frustrated you are with past mistakes (yours and others).

a. You realize past failures didn’t kill you. What to do with failures.

(1) Admit them.

(2) Learn from them.

(3) Determine to do it differently.

(4) Confess them to God for forgiveness.

(5) Forget about them.

b. Everyone gets knocked down in football; winners get up and keep playing.

10. The closer you get to the top, the more confidence you have about life. As an elderly man Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him” (2 Tim. 1:12).

11. You learn to climb with pain toward the top.

a. Young people don’t pay as much attention to aches and pains.

b. Later you learn to trade off to get things done.

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