The Climb Up and The Climb Down

I decided to wrap up 2021 in Bogota on a solo trip to close out the year. One of the must-do attractions in Bogota is the sacred Monserrate Mountain, where a beautiful and active cathedral resides at the peak. While today the Monserrate is a tourist attraction, it is also still predominantly a religious and sacred place, with many people visiting said cathedral to offer their prayers to El Señor Caído (the Fallen Lord). It’s over 10,000 feet above sea level, offering incredible panoramic views of Bogota.

Yes, please.

I wanted to climb up the mountain. And thanks to language barriers, my kind driver/quasi tour guide led me to the ticket office to buy a ticket to take the cable car up the mountain. I surrendered, assuming it was meant to be that I didn’t climb up but instead, get transported up in 5 minutes.

Alas, I started at the top, in awe at the views, the peace, God’s creation. I walked the cobblestone areas around the cathedral. I went in the sanctuary and prayed some big prayers. And as I wondered around this scenic, abounding area I found myself on a trail. I kept walking, thinking perhaps there was another site to see or something interesting to read. As I walked down these wide and deep cobblestone steps, I watched as people were climbing up, completely and utterly exhausted. They literally couldn’t breathe and the sweat was pouring off of their faces. Many of them had stopped with their bodies keeled over with looks of disgust as they still had more to climb.

I kept climbing down, one step at a time, and as I walked and concentrated VERY hard on not slipping and falling, it occurred to me: 2021 was the mountain. I already climbed the mountain and God brought me directly to the top of Monserrate to see this. I didn’t need to climb up that day in Bogota; I had already climbed it over the last 365 days.

The blood, sweat and tears of 2021 has come to a close and I climbed it. I fought it. I cried on my way up. I got injured emotionally and spiritually. I didn’t give up. I was persistent and driven and nothing was going to stop the climb.

In 2021…