Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Mountain

Maroon Bells - My view when I stayed at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, CO

I have a reoccurring dream where I need to take a path up and through a mountain and back down to where I started. Sometimes, I have to take the e way up and the gradual way down. Other times, I have to take the journey in the opposite direction. No one else is ever present. I have no task to do once I get to the top. My task is to take the trip. Nothing special awaits me on top either. Somehow, the trip made me different and it was important even though I have no idea as to the details. I needed to make the trip.

Mountains play a central place in Scripture. Moses gets the 10 Commandments (twice!) on the mountain.  Jesus goes there to pray. Peter, James and John (Jesus’ best friends) experience God there. Mountains are holy and scary where unexplainable things take place. In the end, one thing is for sure. No one takes on a mountain without being changed.

A mountain awaits each of us. A few of us take God’s challenge on quickly and (almost) completely.  Most of us stand at the bottom of the challenge, the mountain, God places before us awaiting more instructions, more clarity, and more promises that everything will be okay. They will not come.

People of faith take risks for God that pay off while having no guarantees. Die to live. Turn the other cheek.  Forgive without limits. We cannot domesticate (like a dog) the mountain God has placed before us. We cannot turn the climb into an effortless slide.

Do not spend your life at the foot of your mountain waiting for safety. The real risky behavior is to stay there at the foot. Life waits in risks taken for God.

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