Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Monday, November 21, 2005

MY MOUNTIAN

A rather abstract view of my mountain concerning my Mother’s illness

I am convinced that every life has mountains we must climb.
Some are simply slanted hillock’s, easy to maneuver and throughout the climb, we can enjoy the scenery.

Others are a bit larger and take more concentration. We do not see as many of the wild flowers along the way or the fluffy, white clouds lazily drifting through endless blue sky, but focus our attention on the chore at hand, one foot after the other. We frequently glance to the top of the hill to measure our progress or as the case may be, our lack of it.

Then, occasionally in every life there looms before us the monster mountain. We can see the foothills and the mountainside but we cannot see the mountian top. It is unfathomable. Or is it that I don’t want to see? We only know it is our own personal mountain and we must climb.

I searched the base for a place to begin but there was none. There are no smooth trails to follow but the rocky ground is covered with brambles and thorns, slimy dark pools of stagnant water, rocky cliffs and many unknown beasts of prey, watching my pitiful efforts, waiting.

It takes time for me to gather some semblance of bravery and determination, and then with abandonment I have never possessed, I smash down the brambles with my feet, and begin in blind faith, knowing I may not make it to the top. Knowing I may be sorry if I do, knowing only that I must climb.

The sharp, angry thorns reach out and attack me, my arms and legs, my torso, no part of my body is spared form their viciousness. The pain at first sharp, then slowly seems to abate as new pain takes its place.
The sloughs and bogs are before me. I step into the pools of filthy water slowly; testing the depth, then slog through, slipping on the slimy rocks beneath. I fall many times and become covered with the fetid slime, but rise and continue.
I must climb the mountain.

When I reach the base of the rocky cliffs, they look impossible. The sheer rock seeming to have no foot or hand holds. Not a shrub to cling to or a ledge to rest. But I go on, driven by necessity. One foot before the other, I inch my way to what I hope is completion of this hateful task, but it seems never ending. I tire, my body aches at every joint, and my brain is twisted into a mass of exhausted, confused pain.

The Mountain looms like a threatening, barren beast, laughing down at me as I lose footing and slide back, digging my fingernails and feet into the stone, searching for a place, any place to hold onto.
And when I think I cannot go on, I see the white gleaming of a snowy peak at the crest of the cliff, and my strength is renewed. I find hope in the promise and with an unknown fortitude I struggle on.

At the top of the cliff I can plainly see the mountaintop, but there are still many obstacles to maneuver. I rise and continue. Slowly trudging my way, knowing it is not even a choice, but necessity. I go on.
After years, and days of labor, bone weary, and not even much caring that I have made it, only that it is finally over, I stand at the cold snowy mountain peak, icy wind blowing around me, alone, and spent. There is no feeling of accomplishment or joy, but a desolation, a sence of finality and ending.

I ask, “Why did I have to climb this mountain?
Then on the voice of the wind I hear Him.
“Well done my child, well done.”

Life is mountains and valleys. He, the Lord of all, dwells in all places, and walks with us. He holds our hand and lifts us from the filthy pools of life. He pulls us from the thorny brambles and heals our wounds. He gives us a boost up the rocky cliffs and stands with his arms open to receive us when we fall from the weary climb.

He is with us always. But being the humans we are, too often we focus on the mountaintop and fail to see the one who walks beside us. Our rescuer and our savior.

So why did I have to climb this mountain?
Mountains are life. It was mine to climb.
What have I learned?
The pain was horrible, but I was not alone.
Without mountains and valleys I would never need Him, thus would never know Him. That would be the saddest of all.