The biggest difference between the three terrains of life – valleys, plains, mountains – is not about inherent value. It is about the way we perceive each. We consider ourselves victims when we are in the valley; we hardly consider the mundane; and we consider ourselves victors on the mountain.

There is danger in all three. We blame God, others, etc. when we are in the plains or valleys, but we take all the credit when we find ourselves on the mountain. We did it. We overcame. We succeeded. The subtext here is that God, the world, and the people around us have tried to arrange challenges to keep us from success, but we have found a way to win.

There are many places in Scripture, from Moses’ speech in Deuteronomy to Jesus’ admonition at The Last Supper, to remember the Lord. How easily we forget. As soon as things are going well, as soon as we gain a resource or feel good, we forget our dependence on God; the necessity of faith.

All of the arenas of life are transitory. You cannot take your wealth with you when you die; it is unsustainable in the long run. Everything we claim to own was once possessed by someone else and will inevitably change hands to another. Our mountains are temporary tools to invite us to Eternal participation. If we do not use them to honor God and reflect his goodness by loving others, we are wasting the opportunity the mountains provide.

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
– Deuteronomy 8:17-18