It's a sentiment on many posters, claiming to be an ancient Hindu proverb, though I've been unable to trace its original source.
The analogy clearly wouldn't work on real mountains.
I've only ever climbed one really tall mountain. I was very thankful for a guide, as most of the paths would have ended up with me getting nowhere near the top, but rather getting very very lost. the guy running around the mountain telling people they are on the wrong path is called a park ranger, and saves many lives.
This struck me particularly as I was preparing to preach Ecclesiastes 4-5 this morning.
There we see 5 paths that lead nowhere:
- The rat race 4:4
- The drop out 4:5
- The treadmill 4:7-8
- The popularity contest 4:13-16
- The money ladder 5:10-12
Amongst all these false paths, there is only one that gets to the top of the mountain:
- Standing in awe of God 5:1-7