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A.B. Morrieson, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Tibet, went on a hike on a Tibetan mountain with Norbu, a Tibetan who teaches English at the same school as Morrieson. Each was seeking spiritual results of a different kind. Here is the story.
As we continue our ascent through blinding snow clouds, Norbu points out a Tibetan monastery just ahead. We climb on and enter the monastery so Norbu can worship. Meandering past images of the Buddhas and working our way through the dark hallways, it slowly dawns on me that this entire hike is a spiritual experience for him.
Why is it that Norbu and almost all other Tibetans believe they get so much spiritual blessing from merely climbing a mountain? As a Christian, what's in it for me? Merit is a moot point; beyond the fact that I could never earn enough of it; all of my wrong was replaced with God's perfection when Jesus sacrificed His perfect life.
As I descend from my refuge on the ridge and rejoin the world below, I'm already looking forward to the next climb, when I'll see another corner of God's pleasure-filled creation. It's not for my merit that I climb, but for God's glory.