Mountains and Valleys are significant images in the bible. The mountain top often represents those significant moments of inspiration and transformation, where as the valleys are often the dark, lonely places of struggle. Whilst on holiday we took the opportunity to do some walking in the hills, and scaled Scafell Pike. The climb was hard work, but well worth it for the view at the top. Without the climb through the valley, the view would have been less significant and would have had less of an impact. This got me reflecting more generally on our faith journey. Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, and although we may enjoy one more than the other, I am convinced that we need both.
‘…From the mountain heights to the valleys low, all created things given life to show. Jesus we live for your glory…’ Endless Light
The quote above is taken from a verse of a song called Endless Light and has been ‘buzzing’ around in my head from the 1st walk of the holiday back on Monday. A little while back I preached on the subject of perspective in suffering and made the comment that ‘mountain tops were great … But life is lived in the valley’. The subject of that sermon and the song lyrics above allude to the truth that we will experience mountains and valleys within our own lives. All 3 of the walks whilst on holiday had mountain top moments, but there are a few things that struck me:
- To get to the top you have to walk up the mountain.
- The mountain top view is breathtaking, but you have to come back down.
- It is important to look up and know where you are heading, always thinking one step ahead.
- Preparation for the journey is key.
- Going it alone isn’t an option, but journeying with others can be frustrating.
I’m not going to expand anymore at this point but ask you to reflect on the points for yourself. I am convinced that church and family life is like climbing a mountain. I’ll leave you with a simple question: Where are you on the mountain walk?