Last week I talked about a concept that I have found life-changing… a life principle that will re-energize your walk with God no matter what you are walking through – exciting or boring.
This week I plan to expand on that principle a bit, or rather add upon it. I want to share with you something that I learned just this last Saturday on the highest mountain of Ireland: Carrantuohill. During my gruelling hike (or climb, whatever you want to call it) to the top of that misty peak (very misty… couldn’t see a thing) I was praying, musing, and thinking.
Mountains are great places to do that.
You are all alone… despite all the other hikers going up with you. The weight and grandeur of nature is so vast that us humans become small. And so in the ultimate colossal world the few humans struggling next to me seem miles apart from my soul… which expanded to sing and rejoice with the hills, giving glory to the Creator God who made us all.
You are brought to the end of yourself. The exertion progressively strips and drains away every kind of energy you have. The constant variety makes each step into a unique challenge, forcing you to continually shift gears and go on with a new method of walking or climbing. You can’t relax into a consistent, easy stride, ever. In the end, your body is exhausted on every level, in every part, and you are going on by hope. And prayer.
And I am able to meet God in a special way. It seemed like each step was a new journey with new things to learn. It was also a powerful dramatization for principles and lessons already learned, grounding them deeper within me.
The principle I want to share with you was both of those: I already knew it, but I learned it again as if it was new, in a new way, with new insights.
If you recall my previous post, the principle I shared with you there was that in every point of your life, you can always ask this question and find a guiding rule for glorifying God in that moment — “Am I facing a challenge that I can do in God’s strength for His glory, or am I being blessed with a respite of happiness for which I can thank and praise Him?” In other words… all of life is made up of bumps, big and small.
This next principle builds on that.
All valleys, peaks, and bumps in life are leading up a mountain.
See, on Carrantuohill, I had to watch my footing constantly. I had to plan how to move my body forward, guiding each joint and muscle to work together in efficient harmony. I had to focus on each bump and decide how to best navigate it for the best results.
But if I had only focused on that I would have been in deep trouble. I would have wandered away from the group, gotten lost, become stranded on the side of the mountain, unable to return or go on. Even if I didn’t get lost, my path would have meandered here and there, back and forth, instead of on the most efficient path up the mountain. I had to continually look up, and keep the next goal in sight.
Look up, see the next ridge; look down, see the next step.
And so our lives go.
Do you have a master vision and passion for your life? Do you see the goals and journeys you must take to fulfill that vision? Can you look from those objectives to your day to day life and say, “This is the next step I must take to take me there.”
Without a direction, all the steps you take are merely wanderings. And any success you come across along the way will be mere happenstance… if you even recognize it when it happens.
You can’t write your life story by the seat of your pants… there is no editing in life. You only get one draft.
So plan it.
And take the next step with the light of a vision in your eye.