What Heaven is Like

I recently hiked up Ben Nevis; the highest mountain in the UK. It was a personal goal and challenge to make it to the top. It was a difficult climb. There were five points along the way when I was truly ready to give up. The first time I was ready to quit was just after hiking two miles straight up uneven rocky stairs.

Climbing the stairs, I was caught in the midst of a family group of seven (including their dog of course). Our paces kept over lapping, so I got to hear bits and pieces of their conversations, which were the typical conversations between two teenaged girls and their mom, a boy of about nine and his da, and all of them talking about the early teenage boy (Jamie). Jamie wasn’t interested in hanging with his family. He would race ahead then stop and lounge on rocks, zoning out to his music.

imageThey all passed me on a particularly steep switchback of stairs. I was starting to wonder just how far I had to go, and would it ever level out. Now, it’s confession time. I have a phobia. It’s descending stairs. A very significant aspect of this climb for me was the notion that I would have to eventually turn around and climb back down all of these rocky stairs! Every difficult step up meant another frightening step down!

I was talking myself out of quitting, trying to come up with a new reasonable reason to continue, when I rounded a switchback and came upon one of the only level places on the hike. I had caught back up with the family, just in time to catch this conversation:

Da, this is the oldest loch I’ve ever seen!

-Why do you say that son?

Because, Da we had to climb all the way up the highest mountain to see it, and there it is just sitting there! I think this must be what heaven is like!

-Why do you say that son?

You’d love to get there and see a loch la this waitin there fer ya!


That was the first time I cried. It also gave me what I needed to keep climbing!