“It’s not the altitude, it’s the ATTITUDE”

Posted: September 17, 2015 in Faith, Movies

I watched Everest last night with some mates, while staying in Ipswich for one of our (Relational Mission’s) regular Prayer & Equipping events. A stunningly shot and impressively staged film, Everest relates the tragic tale of a joint expedition to scale the planet’s highest point in 1996. Not knowing going in how many of the party survived to tell the tale, I was gripped by the tragedy and the elation. It is a great example of both human bravery and fragility, a hair’s breadth between the two. And it was in that that I was struck by a line which spoke to me as we were praying some big prayers together this morning.

The film depicts a place that is both ridiculously beautiful and yet utterly hostile. At that altitude, the climbers’ bodies are dying and they cannot survive without oxygen; they cannot hope to scale that mountain without it. Within this context, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Scott declares, “It’s not the altitude, it’s the attitude!”

We can so often face mountains in our lives. Financial/resource frustrations, relational anguish (both personal or across the church), social crises (the refugees – how can we help?), illness, a mammoth mission field that appears too large to even know where to start, and so on… these can all too easily seem so daunting and overwhelming. But do we truly believe in a God who is able? Who is more than enough?

And here the phrase returns: “It’s not the altitude, it’s the ATTITUDE.” We mustn’t let the size of the mountain(s) be a deterrence, but instead our attitude needs to be abiding in him in order that we might bear much fruit (John 15), remembering his promises, knowing our dependence on our ‘oxygen’ – the breath of Holy Spirit – and recognising our utter reliance on a God who truly can.

Faithfully placing one foot in front of the other, relying on Holy Spirit for our strength and guidance, we will see mighty things achieved for his glory, Jesus’ name planted firmly as a banner upon those peaks.

If you’d like to engage more deeply with Everest, Damaris Media have a fantastic range of community resources and activities here: everest.damaris.org – enjoy the film and enjoy the discussion!

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