Sunday 6 July 2014

The Penultimate Climb

I love this word that cycling commentators always use, penultimate. I think sometimes they say it just to sound really smart. Whatever the case, penultimate is the word that caught my attention right at the beginning of watching racing. 

Penultimate. Adjective. Meaning – occurring immediately before the last thing, year, time frame, mountain. It is something immediately before the last one.

The races on the cycling tours like the Tour De France are brutal. Men are bashing it out over kilometres every day; they are fighting between what their muscles are screaming and what their hearts are saying. They are going against the harsh criticism of others and the intense pressures that others put on them. When they finally hear their managers scream in their ears “hey guys you are at the penultimate mountain now keep going there is one left ahead of you and then you are at the finish line!” I wondered today, how similar our walks of faith are to the cycling races on the TV. Sometimes it is really hard, we have to battle and crucify our fleshly natures until we bring ourselves under the submission of God’s Holy Spirit. We often have to endure the highs and lows of the walk, sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by a wonderful team of believers who are there to help us over the peaks, while other times we find ourselves alone. 

But I want to tell you friends that despite your theology or your beliefs, we are standing, running and sliding on the penultimate mountain peak of history, right now. We are on the peak just before the final one. We are on the peak that will curve downwards and finally out until we see the Glorious Face of our Beloved Messiah coming swiftly on the clouds. His return is Soon! And when we finally get over this hill and out close to the finish line we can sit up in our saddle, lift up our heads and rejoice because our redemption is drawing near! As the world plummets further and further in to its place of darkness and decay, a marvellous light will shine in this dark night – because the saints of God are destined to bring His Light to the earth in great waves before His soon coming return. 
Isaiah 60: 1 -2
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.

On a more personal level, do you have more to do or more to give, a longer road still to travel and a greater way to still go? Are you living on purpose or are you living out of purpose? Are you surviving or are you living on purpose and in passion? Are you excited for the road and the great tour ahead or does the thought of it make you scared? I have a great sense that Father is smiling at us and saying “I know the safest way down the mountain road; I know the best way to navigate the peaks and the best way to descend. I am here to help you when you need that water bottle or when you are scared because the road is slippery and wet, I know the bends and the curves of the tarmac, I know how to steer you all the way, you just have to stay in my slipstream, stay on my wheel, don’t look to someone else, don’t look around you. You may be shaky or nervous but I know the best way down and the best way around and I have never letting go of you. I am Your Team Leader, your partner and the Winner overall, stay with me and I will lead you to victory so that when you reach the final peak, you will be ready not regretting but ready and in faith steady. Stay in my slipstream because you are safe there, follow me!”

Pick up your cross and follow me!
(Matthew 16:24)

Sharing with Dance with Jesus


  1. Just made my day: new word!!!
    Penultimate is kinda the opposite of bae!! lol Do you have teens?

    1. Hi Lisa - haha I love this word too! No I dont have teens at all :)))