A few years ago, I was struck by a news story reporting a fight near the top of Mount Everest between climbers and their Nepalese sherpas. A brawl at more than 25,000 feet, close to the summit (29,029 feet)? You’ve gotta be kidding me.

I’ve hiked Mt. Whitney and know what conditions are like at around 14,500…and the thought of doing that on Mt. Everest is almost nauseating. Even worse, the thought of hikers brawling with the smartest, most experienced, and most resourceful hikers on the mountain—those present only to help them—is ridiculous.

One would think the conditions alone would bring everyone together. One would think cooler heads would prevail and perspective maintained when it’s a matter of life and death.

Nope.

A number of years ago, I sat in an Applebee’s with a fellow minister in our area. It was a typical pastor-lunch-share what’s going on kind of thing. Both of us were considered to be “up and comers.” We were close in age and even among well-meaning men who love the Lord, competition can crop up subtly. His preaching/teaching gifts were ahead of my own, but our church was growing faster than theirs.