Oh the mountains...
To be up where the air is crisp and clear, and you can see for miles. To be close to the heavens, and the beauty of nature.
Those mountain top moments in life, where everything is just GOOD. No worries for tomorrow, just content. Embracing the moment and all the beauty that it holds.
Mountain tops aren’t all the same. Maybe yours includes reaching goals, or going on that trip, maybe building great relationships, trying new things, competing in that event you always wanted to. Some of us have simple mountain tops. Some of us have extravagant mountain tops. But the mountain top is always a place of joy and contentment. And there are different Peaks for different seasons of our lives.
there are the valleys.
These are the places that make those mountain tops seem soo far away. Relationships don’t necessarily come easy, bills don’t pay themselves, your car keeps making that clunking sound, you were late for umpteenth time, and is it just your imagination or does your clock seem to skip time in the middle of the night leaving you more tired in the morning, than when you went to bed? From here, in the valley, we look at the peaks and ask ourselves, “Why? Why can I not just be up there? Why am I stuck down here?”
Down here, where you don’t have understanding of why things are not working, and your long term vision is being suffocated by your worries and frustrations.
Now, I don’t want to dismiss the importance of our Valleys. We need them to see the contrast. Light seems soo much brighter against a backdrop of darkness, and highs seem soo much higher when peering into the depths of the valleys.
the only place to start the ascent is in the valley.
And between these two places of our highs and our lows, there is yet another place. The place of in between. Climbing the mountain. The place where all the reaching, and pushing, and stretching is done. The place where your endurance is truly tested, and grown. This is the place where I believe most of us spend the majority of our time.
Maybe you are on the mountain top. My friend, I rejoice with you! Embrace your time there! You have ascended something monumental and it is time for you, to be there. It is a time to delight, for your hopes are confirmed.
Maybe you’re sitting in the valley, and you are so caught up in your short term thoughts, you don’t even realize how normal life has gotten. But you keep thinking there could be more...not sure what that more even is. Sure, you could choose to stay in the valley. That’s allowed. It’s not all bad in the valley. Life is familiar, and reasonably comfortable. But you probably won’t get stronger there, you won’t build endurance, your character will stay the same, and you know it. So you’re here, and you are at the starting line.
Now you must begin the ascent.
Once you start climbing, and reaching, you begin to perceive, the higher you get the clearer the vision, the further your eyes can see. Here where the work is done, that is where you grow. Not at the top. You may be weak now, but your strength of character will come as you climb. As you endure the hardships and the pains, and the cramps, the cuts and the bruises, there will be moments that bring up doubt and fear. Hang on. The plateaus and pauses, the places of rest where we can catch our breath, and reflect on how far we have journeyed, they are just around the corner. Praise the Lord!
And seeing how far we have come, spurs us to move onward, and keep climbing.
Whether you are in the valley, on the peak of your most recent mountain, or somewhere in between climbing, know that you are not alone. We all, each one of us, have our turns at valleys and climbing. Don't look to your neighbors mountain top experience and compare it to your starting line in the valley. And don't compare the ascent of another with yours, we pick different routes, and different mountains at different times through our lives.
May you climb your mountains with all the heart you can muster, and may you also encourage your neighbor as they climb theirs.
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." -Romans 5:3-5
This applies to all our hills and valleys in life.
But my desire for you is that your mountains will lead to the hope of salvation as well.
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