Have you ever forgotten what life is all about?
I came to know God at a Young Life camp on the top of a mountain in Colorado in 1980. Yes, mine was the proverbial “mountain top experience” of meeting Jesus and being transformed. I had this epiphany that if God deeply loved me, then nothing else could compare to simply knowing God. Wow, that sounds cliche, but if Jesus be God and He died for me, I would go anywhere He called and do anything He asked. I was “all in.” My road map was marked, my compass calibrated; for me, it was “Jesus Only, None but He.” I just wanted to know Jesus.
I returned to that same camp in Colorado after my freshman year in college, this time serving as a camp counselor. Our week of bliss included rappelling down cliffs, white-water rafting and mountain climbing. On the last day of the camp we were guided up a mountain, being instructed to walk the last fifty yards backwards, lest we sneak a peek at the view that literally took your breath away. It was amazing. From the mountain top, we gazed at yet another mountain, magnificent and majestic, shrouded in mist yet so close that it seemed we could almost stretch out and touch it. It was, well...surreal. After a while, we began our descent, passing by a rough wooden cross just off the beaten path, with the words of Psalm 46:10 written on the crossbar, “Be still and know that I am God.” Then it hit me.
I began to weep. I’m not talking about wiping a tear or two from my eyes, I’m saying it was the kind of blubbering boo hoo that happens when you feel wrecked by something. I realized something had changed in me.
Slowly, imperceptibly, something tragic had happened, something truly horrific.
In the busyness of life, I lost sight of what mattered most. I lost sight of Jesus.
Since my mountain top conversion, life had become exceedingly busy. Part of that was due to my own failure to study as a freshmen, leading my parents to tighten down the screws on my academics. Part of that, though, was that I was busy doing stuff...for Jesus. But in my busyness, I felt like I had traded knowing Jesus for serving Jesus. I felt like I had lost my best friend.
I still loved God...He just didn’t take my breath away.
So here’s MY challenge. I’d love to live on the mountain top where seeing Jesus is easy, where nothing competes for my heart. But that’s not where I live. I live in the valley, full of noise, busyness and the chaos of life. I’m exhausted. Everything is clamoring for my attention, demanding my time and energy. In the valley, I simply get...distracted.
I stumbled upon a helpful hint, one time, for my spiritual “A.D.D.”
The apostle Paul was awaiting his execution under Nero, and he wrote to his protege and friend, Timothy, (2 Timothy 2:8) this simple advice...
It’s as if we sit at the desk of life, with piles of bills to wade through, endless “to do” tasks awaiting us, our minds cluttered and distracted. Then the Voice of God whispers, “Come away from all this. Ascend the mountain, if but for a little while to remember Me and who you are, in relation to Me. I’m inviting YOU up the mountain.”
Honestly, this is my greatest strength, my secret, really...and my biggest struggle. What I need perhaps more than any other thing is to focus my eyes on a suffering Savior until this image is brought into crystal clear focus. It is to consciously, intentionally, and slowly, bring to my mind what life is all about.
It is to recalibrate my heart from doing to knowing.
So let the Voice of God again be heard in our souls.
“Come away from all this. Ascend the mountain, if but for a little while to remember Me and who you are, in relation to Me. I’m inviting YOU up the mountain.”
Blog writing ®John Hever. Unless otherwise stated, photos are not the original creative works of John Hever. To access the website of h2o church, go to www.h2ochurch.org.