“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We spend a lot of our time seeking mountain top experiences. The prevailing view is that life is about seeking things that exhilarate us, that bring us exuberant joy.
But there are dangers on the mountain. For one, despite conventional wisdom, these types of experiences are only temporary. They are one of the terrains of life we shuffle through. No matter what we do, we cannot find a life forever on the mountaintops. Adventure junkies chase more and more adrenaline, pushing the edge a little more every time. Addicts obsess unto death. The way the world is set up is to experience mountaintops as rare and temporary joys.
The danger of the mountain is we believe life has to always be this way. That we must feel the exuberance, the high, in order to be ok. We sink into apathy or delusion to replace the unrealistic hope that all things will feel great all the time. Living in one extreme or the other – both to our demise.
The truth is we can be ok throughout any of the terrains of life. It is our perception that sustains us, not the manipulation of our circumstances. We do not achieve peace by overwhelming ourselves with joy. We find peace by accepting and understanding the value of all circumstances, every situation.
The mountaintop is not the finish line. It is just like every other kind of circumstance – a checkpoint. A chance to be thankful. A chance to learn. A chance to perceive a fuller truth of the unique journey of life.