We walk up and down stairways daily (though some avoid them by taking the escalator or elevators!). We walk up short flights of stairs that are simple; and we sometimes have the opportunity to walk up grand and ostentatious ones. We experience curved ones; and ones that seem to go on forever. During certain periods of our lives, walking up a staircase is a simple act that we do without thinking. At other times we find we need to pause to catch our breath; and that a simple flight of stairs takes much effort and pain.
Staircases can be compared to our life experiences: some are simple, some are extravagant, and some are difficult to go though. Like a curved staircase, we often have to experience twists and turns in our lives that seem to go round in circles as we are experiencing them. When we look back on the experience, however, we can see that all those turns led to an end point that was our goal. How wonderful it is to look back and see that we have finally achieved what we had set out to achieve.
I think of the dream Jacob had as described in Genesis 28: 10-22. We read that Jacob dreams of a ladder, and that this ladder (or stairway) is the connection between heaven and earth. He sees God standing on the top, and angels ascending and descending into heaven. In the vision God makes a promise to Jacob that He will continue to support him. I like to think of the stairway symbolising that connection between us and God – and that it is our choice whether we want to climb it or not.
There are some who believe that they can buy their way to heaven with money and gold. This reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s song Staircase to Heaven in which the woman believes that “all that glitters is gold” and that she will be able to buy “the stairway to heaven”.
As a Christian, however, I believe that one is unable to buy one’s way into heaven: the stairway to heaven cannot be bought with money but with the belief that Jesus Christ is the way to God. But how you climb that stairway is also important. I tend to agree with James when he wrote that one’s faith in Jesus being the stairway to God should lead to good works and charitable acts (James 2: 14-26). As we climb the stairway of life, experiencing all those twists and turns that we all do, we should live our lives as God would want us to. We should help others in our community, and treat them with respect. In this way we would be mirroring the person whom we see as our role model: Jesus Christ.
I am climbing my stairway to heaven. There are times when it is simple and straight; and there are times when the stairs go round in circles. There have been times when I have had to stop and take a breather; or lean on someone to help me continue climbing. But I continue looking and moving upward, secure in the knowledge that I will eventually reach my goal.
What stairway are you currently climbing in your life?
(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is stairway)
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012