Yes, this picture, faded, out of focus (long before digital), and an oldie but a goodie.
Any of you remember the song by Miley Cyrus, The Climb? Here's a verse:
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
Think about these for a few minutes......
Mountains and mustard seed faith (making it move)
The battle and the fight of the mind to keep climbing- exhaustion
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose (do you think that?)
Speed- think about the Aesop's Fable of The Tortoise and the Hare
Ain't about the other side, it's the climb (the journey)
My family, from my grandparents, my parents, my hubby and me, and now two of my three adult children, still love to camp (not always in a tent these days) and HIKE.
Did you see the last word? HIKE. As in hiking, walking long distances, over rugged trails, through streams, lotta wildlife, and mountains. This is not about the site or relaxing by the nightly campfire (although it's one of my personal favorite parts). It's about getting out in nature and hiking. These are not leisurely strolls. We are talking sometimes upwards of 8 miles a day....not always, but often.
Let me share a memory. Every single weekend from the time school let out until it was Fair Week, in August (we were a midwest 4H family and it started right here, in Ohio. You may want to google 4H if you don't know what it is), my family went camping. My mom and gramma would, on Friday am, load up the car and the kids, and head to Hocking Hills State Park. The ladies would drive several hours, get their early enough to get their favorite spot, and set up camp, including the tents. We would bring logs from home, but the kids would collect all the twigs and limbs for the fires. Set up took, what seemed like a very, very long time. Grampa and dad would leave after my dad got off work and would get to the site well after dark. No cell phones. No way to make contact. But they knew the way and they knew where we would be. Then, the weekend started. Lots of hikes, long drives (gramps liked to take me on random roads just to see where they led), daddy long legs (spider), good food, fresh air, mosquitos, sunshine, rain, bike rides, cooking on open fires, and lots of practical jokes. They felt like the best of endless summers. Sunday late afternoon, we would reverse the process and head home, with our reservations already made for the next weekend.
There is a vivid memory of anytime there was a large hill, not many mountains around these parts, and the climb seemed steep, my dad would not walk straight up the path, but made a zigzag. He didn't mind the extra steps because it helped make the climb easier. Oh and he always found a good walking stick on which to lean.
The title of this post is Round the Mountain.
If a train needs to go around a mountain, sometimes they tunnel through a side.....but if the mountain is big enough, a road is carved going around the mountain. Or on a trail to go up one side and down the other, it's called it a switchback.
Micah 4:1 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it...
If you wanna see the Lord, grow, and have relationship, you gotta climb and separate yourself. As you can see, others are going as well. You will not be alone.
Psalm 72:3 Then the mountains of influence will be fruitful, and from your righteousness prosperity and peace will flow to all the people.
In relationship, as I grow (uhm succeed in the tests and not have to keep going around some of the mountains in a repeat pattern), mature, and I am more trustworthy, influence will be the natural fruit produced to effect others. This is the power of story! And hopefully, some will heed and not have to repeat patterns and mistakes from which I am now free!
These, my friends, are types of mountains on which, I want to spend my time...and I do NOT want to stay at the bottom! I want to go higher! Then I'm coming down for a bit to base camp and encourage more of you to come on up!
We really want to go around the mountain at times. In a word:
1. Be prepared (armor of God- Ephesians 6)
2. Know the mountain you are climbing- What's in it, Who's on it, Where? Why are you going?
3. You make the decision on your own- Jesus often went alone to the mountain to pray to discern the will of the Father (Matthew 14:23)
4. Know when it's time to leave some mountains! (Deuteronomy 1:6)
5. Walk it out: Run your race with steadfastness, perseverance, patience, and love (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1)
A few other thoughts about going around this mountain. It can be a rocky climb so what you wear on your feet is important. And if you're the type to scale them and are a bit more like the hare instead of slow and steady like the tortoise, you might want to use God as your safety in the cleft of the rock (Psalm 91) and even perhaps tether yourself to the Holy Spirit on your belt of truth.
Can't see the forest for the trees adage applies here as well. In the middle of it all, it can be pretty easy to get lost. Look for the Son! Always find North (straight and narrow)! Take a glance back for perspective!
It is about the climb!
Upward we go for those wide open views!