We love the mountains of life. They are enjoyable. They are also dangerous. They can lead us to believe we have reached the apex of experience. We are finally in a place (or time or setting or circumstance) where we can enjoy lasting happiness. We begin to imagine we (finally) control life from on high.
Like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, we want to set up camp and stay there forever. But the mountains of this life are not a finish line, they are merely a checkpoint.
There is a mountain, higher than all our mountains, that actually is a culmination of all the mountains that came before: The house of the Lord. The chief of the mountains. The kingdom of God. The city on a hill. The New Jerusalem of the New Earth. It makes our mountains valleys by comparison.
The New Jerusalem will be a mountain filled with righteousness. There will be no need of the sun, for the Lamb of God will be its light. Night will be no more. The kings of the earth will bring their glory through its gates. And God will take up residence within the city. From his throne will flow a river, with the tree of life growing on its banks. The divide between heaven and earth will be bridged. There will be no need of a temple, for God will dwell in the new city. We will be dwelling in heaven, for heaven will have come to earth.
When we attempt to set up permanent residence on a perishable mountain of this life, we stop pursuing the heavenly Jerusalem. Our mountaintop circumstances are a shadow of what is to come. We must keep moving. We must keep traversing on the journey. A better mountain awaits.
“And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it.”
– Micah 4:1