23 Sep Maintaining the Mountain Top Experience
Here is an article my intern wrote that I wanted to share:
For the past seven years I have volunteered with a youth ministry where I have befriended, hung out with, mentored, and had the opportunity to take high school kids to a week long summer camp every year. Each year I have kids come home proclaiming they truly had the best week of their life, however they often fall back into the same old routines and seem to forget about their experience. So often we have these amazing experiences in life and don’t know what to do with them. We come home from an amazing trip, camp, conference, or even a great conversation feeling like we are on top of the world. These experiences leave us feeling equipped, confident, inspired, and ready to take on any challenge. Yet, too often that feeling quickly fades and we loose sight of those inspired ambitions. How do we possibly maintain these mountain top experiences?
The time on the mountain top is only meant for a moment. A precious moment for sure. A moment to look back at where you’ve been, to look ahead at where you’ll go. A moment to inspire, to dream, to take in the view. Yet, life cannot be sustained on the mountain top. Life does not flourish above the tree-line. We cannot live within the mountain top state forever.
See, we are made for the valleys. This is where we are put to the true test: our merit and strength is proven when we can bring the mountain top to the valley. As we descend from the mountain top we must seek ways to share the elevation with the valley and integrate it in our day-to-day lives rather than keep them separate and reminisce of greater altitudes. This integration of the different altitudes is the key.
Vital of this melding is having others around us that also have shared experiences on the mountain top. This allows us to not loose sight of the amazing vantage point we once had nor forget about our experience of exaltation. Allowing yourself to share the experience with others helps to keep you accountable from settling back into old ways of thinking and living that were void of any altitude perspective.
Not everyone gets to experience the mountain top. Actually few can make the cut to such altitudes. The time and experience at higher altitudes reveals a glimpse of our character. The mountain top is a place of purpose. While we can learn and find inspiration from the summit, what is more important is what we do with that. Returning from this summit is where you get to take the inspiration and run with it. The summit isn’t nearly meant to teach us something as it is to make us something. Allowing the summit to tangibly change your life means being purposeful in our decent into the valley of our day to day lives. The view from the summit should propel us through the valley and into greater heights someday.
As we are purposeful in seeking out new inspirations, others with similar visions and experiences, and allowing these experiences to stick and change how we live we can maintain these mountain top experiences and use them to propel us into great things.
Author Oswald Chambers put it this way, “We are inclined to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching. In actual fact, it is to be turned into something even better than teaching, namely, character. The mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something.”