Before I start this post I need to make something clear. I am not one of those Christians that are against all other Christians. When I say things I might sound extreme. I kind of do this on purpose actually. You see, I have been through a lot of… well… let’s just say crap. My past has actually taught me to be able to take my own emotions out of a situation and look at both sides before I form an opinion on the subject. So, I am thankful for what I’ve been through, because I see some adults, way older than me, not be able to do this same thing. What I like to do is throw out an extreme version of an idea that usually goes against what most people believe. I do this to allow people to think about another way of doing or thinking about something. Americans are extreme and stubborn, and yes, we would not be the great country we are today without those traits. But as my brother, Andy, told me one time, “Trevor, a lot of times our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.” So, Americans are sometimes extreme and stubborn in areas that aren’t necessarily good for us. This is why I like throwing out the opposite idea on a subject, even if it is against what I believe, because we need to have an opinion on what we believe in stead of what our culture says. I know that was long and drawn out, but trust me, that answers questions for a lot of people. I am not against you guys. I am simply processing stuff and praying that it can help you process, too.
ANYWAYS… Mountaintops. I have noticed this “debate” going around lately about “mountaintops vs. valleys.” I have also noticed that there are a lot of people going toward the idea of the valley is actually the better place to be, and they have very valid statements. Hear me on that, their reasons are valid. I hear things like “the valleys is where there is vegetation.” “The mountaintop is meant to be a temporary experience.” “There is no growth in staying on the emotional high.” “Low times build strength and character.” I am sure you can quote so much more than those. Like I said, these are true statements, but there is something dangerous about this. “What’s that,” you may ask. Well, like I said earlier, Americans are stubborn. What this may cause is a state of stagnation. You see, someone may hear that growth happens in the valleys, then decide I want to grow, then decide I want to keep growing, then possibly get prideful in that growth, and end up not ever starting the climb up the mountain because he enjoys the growth to much. Then, that becomes a problem…
As many of you know, I just spent 6 months in the UK, and during that time I actually went to Wales. Did you know they actually have neighborhoods nicknamed “the valleys?” It’s self explanatory really. They are neighborhoods in the valleys, but there is something interesting about these valleys. They are actually a living example for why I think having a valley mind set is dangerous. You see, the valleys in Wales are not a place you would take your family on vacation to. It is a place where families get stuck, and unemployment gets worse every generation. A place where drugs and abuse are very common. We prayed for people who were messed up on drugs because they were celebrating their last day outside of jail. If that is not heart breaking then I don’t know what is. Yes, valleys are where there is vegetation, but stagnation brings death to any form of life.
By definition, a valley is an area of land between two mountains or hills. This means when you are chilling in your valley you’re are looking straight ahead at a big mountain. There is no denying a mountain in your front yard. That is when I start to wonder why people choose to stay in a valley when everyone is on a journey of pursuing God. I think that if God put a mountain in the middle of our straight and narrow, then that must mean He wants us to climb that mountain. I do not think that mountain means He wants us to chill with our homies in the valley. But, sometimes, we start thinking too much. We think about how there is vegetation in the valley and climbing a mountain is really hard work, and we lose sight of the fact that God put that mountain for us to climb and have a mountaintop experience. This make me think of a poem I heard recently by Donna Shaw.
“Then your sweet voice whispers in my ears…..
You will climb, you will be strengthened
You may stumble, you may get tired and want to lay down
In those times, my dearest, is when you will see
My love for you the most”
You see, God wants us to be stronger. He wants to show you His love. God knows that the climb is hard but He knows the plans He has for you as it says in Jeremiah 29:11. Those plans are plans of prosperity, not of a stagnate life that leads to death. Think of some of the great men in the Bible like Moses and Abraham. If they didn’t have their mountaintop experiences, then the Jews may still be slaves or possibly still waiting on the law instead of having Jesus. Heck, without Abraham’s mountaintop, then that would mean he disobeyed God, which leads to no blessing, which leads to now Jews, which leads to no blood line for Jesus to come through. Mountaintops bring blessing, favor, and breakthrough. God wants us to be on the mountaintop, you see, because that is where the best isolated, one on one time is able to be born. It has been since the beginning of time. God knows that those experiences are not long term. He knows that you will spend more time in the valleys and more time climbing the mountain than you will ever spend on top of it. BUT He knows the amazing time He will have with you along the way, and definitely the times He will have with you on the mountaintop. He also knows that there is a grander mountaintop coming next. If you don’t climb this mountain then you won’t make it to the better mountain that is behind it. God wants the best for you. Sometimes that just means your thighs will have to burn a little bit.
So, what I get out of this thought process, and what I hope you understand from my thoughts, is to not be stagnate. Don’t become stagnate in the valleys because of how things look. Don’t stop and become stagnate on the climb because of your thighs burning. Also, don’t become stagnate on the mountaintop because of the feeling. He has more for you. Just keep on keeping on that straight and narrow path, no matter how big of a mountain comes your way. Why? Because… Stagnation brings death to any form of life.
Hope my process helps you with yours.