It’s interesting that you wonder in your blog if you’ve “peaked”. i believe that in your life when you arrive at a peak, you will look off into the distance for the next peak and set out for that one. i think that for people who have your kind of faith, that is the only scenario.
That was a quote out of an email I received from an old friend and blog-reader just yesterday. Since I read it, I can’t stop thinking about it. It was such a simple, yet wonderful visual for me. I honestly hadn’t thought of things like that before, but suddenly I saw myself standing on the top of a huge mountain, with a sense of accomplishment, like, “OK, I conquered this…what’s next?” Then looking ahead and seeing a mountain just as large, ready for me to challenge.
The cool thing about being on a mountain-peak, I can see all around me; ahead of me, beneath me, behind me. And the mountain ahead of me isn’t any less beautiful than the once I’m standing on, or the one behind me. Even the ground is appealing and beautiful. And yet the path down the mountain, across the way, and up to the next peak is still mostly invisible from this view.
As I envisioned all of this, I was reminded that we all need to come off the mountaintop at some point. We can’t jump from one peak to the next; we’ll never make it. We have to go back down, and move forward until we get to the place we start the next climb.
All this talk about mountains and reaching the top, I feel the need to share another, more important metaphor. But watch out, this one might offend you.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we would say that we’re all trying to reach the top of one mountain or another, and what it all boils down to is us trying to find the meaning and purpose in our life. We climb the mountain of success because we think if we reach the top we’ll feel empowered. We take the trek up mountains of love because we think if we find “The One” we’ll be complete. We reach for fame, money, recognition, peace, power, enlightenment, Nirvana…fill in the blank. The thing is, those mountains are all illusions. We get to the top and realize we’ve spent all that time climbing an anthill, and we feel no more purpose, hope or wellbeing than we did before we ever started.
I may be young, but I know this for certain: there is nothing that we could attain, in all of life, that will compare to a place in God’s presence. And if we are narcissistic enough to think that we could attain/earn a place in God’s presence on our own, we’re out of our mind. The most humbling, and most freeing thing in all of history, is that The God of Creation would reach down the mountain, and pull us up to where He is, through His son Jesus Christ. Nothing else in life promises that. The very thing we need in order to be near Him; in order to know God, is Him. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
If we want to break the analogy down all the way to literal mountain climbing, one might argue that you can climb a mountain on your own, and you can reach the top through your own hard work and discipline…That too is a deception. As you are climbing that mountain, you are not the one commanding your heart to keep beating at the proper rate. You do not cause your lungs to inhale and exhale. You, my friend, are not even telling your legs and your arms to pull you up.
Perhaps you are a person who would say that there are several paths up the same mountain that reaches the same god. But that’s like saying there are other ways to get to Jupiter aside from using a space-shuttle. It simply isn’t true.
Max Lucado put it this way, (I’m paraphrasing here) Let’s say God told us the only thing we had to do in order to get into heaven (or be in His presence) was to jump to the moon. Now, I might jump higher than my 5 year old cousin, and Michael Jordan might jump higher than me (he would too I’m really short) but compared to the distance we all need to go…none of us are gonna make it.
If you get nothing else out of this entire post, (or anything else I ever write) take this: The God of the universe has had His hand extended to you since you drew your first breath, in an invitation to experience a life you could never imagine on your own. Take it. It’s free.
If you don’t know Him; if you don’t even know whether He exists…ask Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself. This could be your first step up the highest mountain you’ve ever seen.