A part of me reads this quote and thinks of it as a negative thing, a hard thing, a religious thing with which free spirits should not be encumbered. But literal ascending is the opposite of staying at the same altitude, the easy mediocre status quo levell. When I think of it like that, it puts me more in mind of doing a bit of hard work toward rising above boring, or even above my most average self, toward the best me God has in mind. That knocks the religious right out, and simultaneously reinforces the dreams and hopes and imaginings that ran rampant in the mind and heart of a younger me.
Which is very fitting for Easter, since Jesus challenges what is religious in each of us, and offers something much better than our finiteness would ask or envision.
Happy day, happy Easter.