We spend a lot of our time seeking mountaintop experiences. The prevailing view is that life is about chasing circumstances that exhilarate us, that bring us exuberant joy.
But there are dangers on the mountain. For one, 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. It is never enough.
The way the world is set up is to experience these mountaintops as rare and temporary joys. Believing we can do all of life there is an inaccurate and unhealthy perspective.
The danger of the mountain is that we believe life has to always be this way. That we must feel this exuberance, this high, in order to be okay. We sink into apathy or delusion to protect the unrealistic hope that all things will feel great all the time.
The truth is we can be okay 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, in any 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.