Monday, November 21, 2016

What You Can Learn on a Mountain

"There is no place so awake and alive as the edge of becoming." 
~Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

You can learn a lot about yourself on a mountain.

Just ask Moses. Or Elijah. Or Abraham. When you get a view from the top, you can't come down unchanged. Very often, you are forced to leave your comfort zone. Very often, life and death are on the line. Very often, your faith is tested and you have to remove your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground.

God tends to reveal Himself on the mountaintop.

Sometimes it's a burning bush. Sometimes it's a sacrificial ram. Sometimes it's fire falling from the sky. Or sometimes, God provides you with a scathing glimpse of exactly who you really are.

The first time my husband took me skiing, I realized what a complete and total wuss I was. I absolutely spazzed out and hyperventilated at the top. I had to be dragged down the slope on my rear end.

True story.

In hindsight (pun intended), I see that I approached that mountain exactly how I approach life. As far back as I can remember, I have been timid, shy, and fearful. Afraid of dogs. Afraid of heights. Afraid of roller coasters. Afraid of airplanes. Afraid of failure. Afraid of confrontation. These things I have avoided at all cost.

That is, until now.

Recently, God has been calling me back up the mountain. I can feel Him gently leading me by the fingertips to the edge of a mighty precipice--to the steep rock face of a cliff. He is asking me to trust Him. He is asking me to take risks.

Some of you are right here with me.

I look to my right and to my left and I see you--wide-eyed and mystified with wonder--the wind in your face with your toes hanging over the edge just like mine. Not knowing what we will be asked to sacrifice but entirely confident that the God of Abraham will provide. Knowing full-well that the God who spoke to Moses from a burning bush and defeated the prophets of Baal with fire from heaven is the same God on this mountain with us now.

This is the place to be. This is where I want to stay.

Right on the edge of becoming. There is no place so awake and alive. God is not yet finished with me. He is not yet finished with you. And the One who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.

We cannot walk away unchanged.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere along my way back up this mountain, I unearthed a part of myself I never thought existed. I broke through hardened soil and tunneled down deep with picks, shovels, and trowels. I exposed long-lost artifacts and excavated treasures untold. I brushed away the dust and dirt and uncovered the rarest find of them all:


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