Leadership Personal

Are You Ready For The Journey?


Climbing The Mountain

There once was a young man who lived in a valley. This valley was very deep in the woods surrounded by tick forest and vast rivers. His life was rough. It felt like every time he tried to leave his home and pursue something greater, something better than his valley, it was just one disappointment after another. He often dreamed that things would change. Sometimes he would make his way to a clearing in the valley and look up and the majestic mountain peaks that towered high about the valley where he lived. He would imagine himself standing on the peak of the mountains that surrounded him. In those few short moments he felt better, then he began comparing the mountain tops to his valley, and it only made him feel worse.

One morning the young man woke up with a vigorous passion, he was going to climb the mountain.

He packed his gear and started to make his way to the base of the mountain. He started climbing, but after a few hours he got weak and faint. Then suddenly the trail he was following abruptly ended. So he decided to cross a dangerously narrow ridge on the side of the mountain. As he was crossing, he slipped and fell. Bruised and bleeding, he picked himself up and continued on determined to get to the top of the mountain.

See the young man had a second motive for climbing the mountain. He had always dreamed about seeing the sunset from the top of the mountain peak. Living in the valley, he was never able to do that. The young man realized it was nearing the end of the day and he needed to reach the top before the sunset fell. He climbed and climbed, and finally reached the mountain peak just as the sun set back behind another mountain peak that was higher than the one he was on. The young man in complete disappointment, threw his bag on the ground and began to wonder why he wasted his time climbing this stupid mountain.

After a while another climber who lived in the valley below, who had also climbed the mountain that day approached the young man. This man was an older gentleman who you could tell was definitely an experienced climber. The older man asked the young man, “So, what do you think of the view?” “What view?” the young man responded. He squinted into the darkness looking out across the mountain range but could not see what the old man was talking about.

The old man leaned back and looked up at the sky. From the valley, the young man was never able to see this amazing, breathtaking view. The young man looked up to see what they old man was talking about and in that moment, he was breathless. “Those stars were there the entire time weren’t they?” asked the young man. The older man replied, “Yes, they were here all along, you just needed to change the direction of what you were looking at.”

We’re all on a journey. Sometimes as we travel, we have great intentions of going somewhere. As most of us know, just because you have good intentions doesn’t mean you’ll actually get to where you’re going. If you’re like me I get interrupted a lot. Whether I’m traveling or just walking around the office, I get pulled off my course from what I originally intended to do. I think sometimes we fail to realize that it’s our direction, not intention, that determines where we’re going in life. 

Most of us if we’re honest, we strive for the end result in life. We want to be happy, healthy, and wealthy, and we want it all overnight. We live in instant gratification, where we can have anything and everything at the drop of a hat. We grow up, move out, and think success just happens. We want to reach celebrity status or 1M+ followers just because we tweeted something inspirational. I’ll admit, I fall victim to that too.  But what we don’t realize as we see on TV, tabloids, and social media, is that all of those moments for most people, are mountain top moments. We never see the “valley” moments. We sometimes never understand how that person appeared to get “famous over night,” or what someone went through to gain highly esteemed wealth.

1. Everyone has Mountain Tops and Valleys in their Journey.

We all go through seasons of life where we feel like we’re on a mountain top or stuck in a valley.

So what is the difference between “Valley Moments” and “Mountain Top Moments?”

Mountain top moments are times when you feel like life is “all together.  Maybe when you graduated from High School, or College. It’s times you feel like it just can’t get any better than this. Maybe you get a raise at work or that girl who you never thought you could get FINALLY agreed to go on a date with you. These are the moments in life we long for, and in our culture, we want everybody to see.

These moments are where we want to live.

 But Valley moments, these are the moments that make up the majority of life. These are the times obscurity, the times that we never want to share with anyone. Valley moments define who we really are. These moments shape our character, and ultimately define whether or not we get to start climbing the mountain.

 Valleys are where Tough Choices are Made.

2. Mountains will Inspire You while Valleys will Mature You.

It’s in the valley moments that God wants to mold you and prepare you for the Journey of life.

Believe it or not, your mountains and valleys are connected. The mistakes you make in today’s good times will create tomorrow’s bad times. The wise things you do in today’s bad times create tomorrow’s good times.

3. Mountains Give Perspective.

Mountains give you perspective in a few different areas. They let us know where we’re at on our Journey. When we’re on a mountain top, sometimes God shows us our next step or gives us another piece to the puzzle of life. When you’re on a mountain top one of the most exciting things is being able to see the higher mountain peaks in the distance that we want to climb, but we often forget that in order to get to those higher peaks, we have to climb down the mountain that we’re on, go back through a valley and climb up the other mountain.

4. You Cannot Live On A Mountain Top.

Mountain Tops are fun for a while, but you can’t stay there forever.

Wherever you’re at on your journey, whether that be a mountain top or you’re walking through a valley. God wants to be right beside you on this journey. He hasn’t left you or forgot about you. He wants to mature you, and call you into deeper relationship with Him.

Start moving.

How To Start Moving:

1. Be Consistent.
2. Take Others With You.
3. Don’t Swerve.

I love the verses below, I’ve referenced them in two different translations. Let these sink in and light your path today.

Psalm 119:105 NIV
105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:105-112 MSG
105 By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. 106 I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order. 107 Everything’s falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. 108 Adorn me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules. 109 My life is as close as my own hands, but I don’t forget what you have revealed. 110 The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don’t swerve an inch from your course. 111 I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever – what a gift! And how happy it makes me! 112 I concentrate on doing exactly what you say – I always have and always will.

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