Top of the Mountain
At the top of the mountain, the view is much different than at the base. Not that I’m a mountain climber. I shudder to think of it, though I appreciate the stamina of those who do it. Nope, I’m an admirer of the physically strong and focused climbers.
But I love mountains. On a few occasions, I’ve been able to have a bird’s eye view: Once, when some of our family members traveled to Idaho, we spent a couple of days at a ranch where we were able to ride horses as they were meant to be ridden. Not in a slow line, moving nose to swishing tail, but free and independent.
When we reached a peak, overlooking thousands of beautiful acres, the air was clear and the peace was palpable.
Mountains: Sacred places of worship. Symbol of the temple. Associated with strength and majesty. Obstacle – should we be afraid, or rite of passage – if seen as the gift it can be. Each time we make the journey upward, the reward – and the humility that accompanies doing Hard Things – resounds in us. Tired though we are, a new energy seems to sneak into the very core of our being.
I’ve climbed mountains – in the symbolic sense. Prior training was unnecessary, but endurance and faith were ‘musts’ for each step of the way. You’ve climbed mountains, too. We each need to keep our climbing gear at-the-ready, and in good repair. Because when those mountains loom…. those times of intense struggle and learning… there is no time like the present for beginning our journey to the next level of understanding.
Making upward progress.
Improving ourselves -and proving ourselves- when we reach the pinnacle. Gaining a clearer view of life, and our place in the Plan.
It is true that once we scale to the top, we see the Better View – the Grand Lesson – or the Humbling Encounter with Diety which binds us our heart to their own. Though it was a hard climb, the blessings are worth it!
This quote from President Dieter Uchtdorf is a little gem, and is counsel I try to remember when the next mountain I need to climb rises formidably before me – and I’m feeling unfit for the trek. Unsure of the path that leads to the crest of the peak. Feeling weary, or just not quite up to putting on my climbing gear:
“The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we’re able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts
to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can – that we work according
to our full capacity. however great or small that may be.”
Our personal mountains require us simply to do the best we can. Sprinting isn’t necessary. Frequent stops for nourishment are needed. Rest is essential, in order to rebuild strength to continue the quest. And patience is a virtue that gives hope and confidence. Once we reach the top, oh the view! The clarity of understanding. The appreciation for the climb! The sweeter understanding of deep, sacred things. The scene may be surprising. But it all seems to make sense. We descend with a more humble appreciation for the mountain we’ve just ascended, and the Maker of that mountain. Through the climb, we’ve discerned – grasped more of heavenly concepts and personal strengths.
No. I don’t climb mountains or repel them, in the physical sense. But the sacred nature of the symbolism? I “get” it. The courage and perseverance needed doesn’t go unnoticed by our God. We become more fit for Him each time we climb, conquer, and capture the lessons that are ours to learn.These lyrics from a favorite hymn, “More Holiness Give Me,” come to mind, And make my heart smile: