The mountains are probably one of my favorite places to be. When you’re up on a mountain, you kind of feel like you’re on top of the world; it’s so peaceful, and the view is breathtaking.
First, though, you have to climb the mountain, and the worst part of the whole mountain experience is when you’re about halfway up. Your legs start to feel like Jell-O, and the people hiking around you start looking at you funny because you’re making loud, irregular breathing noises. (When you have your headphones on, you don’t really realize how your breathing is disturbing the peace.)
It’s the best feeling to get to the top. But as wonderful as mountains are, life isn’t lived on mountaintops. And if you stay up there too long, you might turn into the crazy person that never comes down to society.
Have you ever noticed how much more quickly you seem to go down a mountain than up? You almost have to run down because it’s so steep. It can be pretty ruthless. Sometimes that’s how life is. You keep climbing, climbing, climbing, pushing through, pushing through, until you get there. The summit is so, so sweet. Every step was worth it. But you know you have to come down at some point.
When you’re on level ground, which is most of the time, the buildings and cars and trees and people don’t look so small anymore, and taking on the world doesn’t seem so easy. Reality sets in. The mundane, everyday tasks make you want to be back up on the mountain, where you felt close to God and everything looked perfect. Up there everything seemed so simple and beautiful, while down here all you see is what’s around you.
I pray that as the people of God, we will walk faithfully on level ground.
If anyone in Scripture rode the highs and lows of life, it was David. One day he was the greatest and most loved king, and the next day everybody wanted him dead. Other days, he just cried out for the Lord to be near to him, because life was just confusing. He was no stranger to the mountain, and he was no stranger to level ground.
David prayed: “Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133, ESV).
Yes, Lord, keep steady our steps. Whatever the high, whatever the low, or however much level ground lies in front of us. According to your promise.
I am awful at directions. If it weren’t for my GPS (which I endearingly named Florence, after Florence and the Machine––I thought it was clever), I’d be done for. Just like we would be lost without our GPS’ guiding the way, we are left aimlessly wandering without God’s word to guide our way. It works when we’re walking on level ground and it guides us up (and down) the mountain.
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119: 105
Sometimes, when we’re on level ground, all we have is a memory of the view from up high. We can’t see very far. We can start to panic and wonder what in the world is going on. But all he is asking us to do is to keep walking, to seek him and follow his Word.
That’s how he keeps our steps steady day after day.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8, NASB).
Walk humbly with your God. Through whatever lies ahead. In the mundane, now.