Mountaintop experiences

I love the mountains. That’s why I like living in the South Plains of Texas (Lubbock), since I’m just five and a half hours away from my favorite jumping off spot into the Pecos Wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo range in New Mexico. The majestic peaks, the evergreens and aspens, the lakes, streams and waterfalls are inspiring and breathtaking. Yes, I do believe you may even ‘feel’ closer to God. And when I’m there, I don’t want to come down from the mountain. Mountains fascinated people in the Bible also. From Mount Horeb in the Sinai to the Mount of Transfiguration in the Galilee, the biblical characters seemed drawn to ‘mountaintop experiences.’ Peter was so moved by the experience on the mountain in the ninth chapter of Luke that he didn’t want it to end. He had never experienced anything like it before. ‘Wait, Jesus. This can’t end yet. Let us put up some tents for you and Moses and Elijah. Let’s just enjoy what’s happening here.’ That’s the real danger of mountaintop experiences. They are so wonderful and special and revealing that we just don’t want them to end. Many people try to live their religion on the mountaintop. But that’s not possible, not spiritually, anyway. For life is not lived on the mountaintop. Not all the time. There are valleys and plateaus and desert wasteland. While Peter was urging them to prepare to stay awhile on the mountain, a cloud came and overshadowed them and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him.’ And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found all alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one of any of the things they had seen. When they came down from the mountain they found hurting people who needed Jesus. As soon as they came down, a man brought his broken son to Jesus to be made whole. That’s what it’s all about. Mountaintop experiences provide the strength, insight, inspiration, direction and motivation for being able to face the world after we come down. The transfiguration mountaintop experience was over, but the results remained. Jesus was ready, and He ‘set His face toward Calvary.’

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