Recently my family and I spent a week in Colorado. We don't vacation like many families. We like to be active. We like adventures. My boys like to climb, hike, explore and so do Nicole and I....no laying on the beach for us. The capstone to our trip was to summit Twin Sisters Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. It's a 7.5 mile round trip hike with more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain and you end up at the top of a mountain at over 11,000 feet above sea level with 360 views of the Rockies. It's amazing.
And yet, though we had hiked for about 3 hours to get to the top, we didn't stay long. You see clouds were rolling in and the top can be a dangerous place to be. There is no place to take cover. No trees to hide under, no buildings for safety...nothing but rock, so we took some pictures, ate a snack and got down.
In the Christian life we tend to use the phrase a "mountaintop experience" a lot. We all want to have these goose-bump moments with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And while I've had these moments and enjoyed them too, the reality is that the top of a mountain isn't a place we should try to stay. Life isn't lived at the top. Life is lived in between the top and the valley. We are constantly somewhere in between.
In Matthew 17 we read the incredible story of the transfiguration where Jesus takes 3 of his disciples to the top of a mountain and they meet with Moses and Elijah and Jesus is shown in his glory. Peter (of course it's Peter who speaks up) is so impressed he decides they should stay in that moment long term. He says, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
Peter is ready to camp out long term. He wants to stay in the mountain top moment for a long time. But, Jesus knows this is just a moment. Only a few verses later they head down the mountain together.
We can't stay on the mountain. We aren't meant to. We take the memory. We carry it with us. It helps us through the valley. But we have to live in our real life...not waiting for the next emotional high, not just hoping for another "transfiguration" type moment to come...but following Jesus in the boring day to day of the places and people of our jobs, schools and homes.
Walk on brothers and sisters, no matter where you roam.