In his classic work, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan introduces the character Christian, whose haunting vision of impending destruction inspires him to immediately evacuate his home and make the difficult journey to the Celestial City. The story is an allegory of the Christian life and demonstrates that just as the main character, Christian, faces obstacles on his journey, so does the believer in Christ bear such burden.
I have a beautiful old copy of this book published in 1877; the inscription indicates that it was a Christmas gift from a mother to her son on December 25, 1878. Listen to the story’s teaching as early in his journey Christian faces the Hill of Difficulty:
I beheld then, that they all went on till they came to the foot of the Hill Difficulty, at the bottom of which was a Spring. There was also in the same place two other ways besides that of the going up the side of the Hill is called Difficulty. Christian now went to the Spring, and drank thereof to refresh himself, and then began to go up the Hill, saying,
The Hill, tho’ high, I covet to ascend,
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way to life lies here:
Come, pluck up, Heart, let’s neither faint nor fear;
Better, tho’ difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is wo.
The other two also came to the foot of the Hill; but when they saw that the Hill was steep and high, and that there was two other ways to go; and supposing also that these two ways might meet again with that up which Christian went, on the other side of the Hill; therefore they were resolved to go in those ways. Now the name of one of those ways was Danger, and the name of the other Destruction. So the one took the way which is called Danger, which led him into a great Wood; and the other took directly up the way to Destruction, which led him into a wide field, full of dark Mountains, where he stumbled and fell, and rose no more.
Day 20 Guide
Today, think of your life as a journey. Where are you going? And how are you getting there? Are you building relationships along the way? Are your conquering the dark forces of despair and despondency?
Full text: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/bunyan/
Pilgrim’s Progress for Children: Little Pilgrim’s Progress