When mountain climbers are in dangerous terrain, on the face of a cliff or the slopes of a glacier, they rope themselves together. Sometimes one of the them slips and falls–backslides. But not everyone falls at once, and so those who are still on their feet able to keep the backslider from falling away completely. And of course, in any group of climbers there is a veteran climber in the lead, identified for us in the letter to the Hebrews as “Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in” (Heb 12:2).

Traveling in the way of faith and climbing the ascent to Christ may be difficult, but it is not worrisome. The weather may be adverse, but is never fatal. We may slip and stumble and fall, but the rope will hold us.

–Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society.