As I sat quietly pondering life—past, present, and future, I thought about the mountain(s) we face as we journey through life. Yes, life is like climbing a mountain to the summit. Some folks may climb more than one in their lifetime, but all of us have at least one.
Although there are many paths leading to life’s summit, we want to choose the best one. We research the possibilities, seek advice, and try to plan the perfect route in order to minimize the difficulties we may face along the way. The cliffs, slippery slopes, and many unknown dangers that may be encountered along the way make the decision difficult, but when we finally decide on the “ideal” path, it’s time to start climbing.
Most folks start in the valley and work their way up to the summit by taking one-step at a time. Sometimes what we visualized as we were making plans is not the path we actually traverse. We often must make midcourse adjustments and hear our internal GPS voice saying, “Recalculating!” However, we must not let that voice frustrate us because, as cited earlier, there are multiple paths that will lead to the summit.
The journey may be difficult and some days will be better than others, but we must stay the course. It takes discipline, courage, and endurance to make it to life’s summit, but you must keep climbing—it’s your mountain—your challenge in life and no one can do it for you.
The closer you get to the summit, the more difficult the climb becomes, which can be frustrating. You work hard, but the summit doesn’t appear to get any closer. The secret is not to look at how far you are from the summit, but to thank God each day for how far you’ve come from the valley below.
JOURNEY TO LIFE’S SUMMIT
I stood in the valley looking up.
There before me my summit rose high.
Covered with snow, it seemed far away,
But the journey there is mine they say.
I started to climb as a young child.
I sensed no danger and had no fear.
All I saw was beauty all around,
And the world I saw was my playground.
With the first plateau beneath my feet,
I looked back to see from where I came.
My childhood days passed like a warm breeze,
And teen years of life appeared with ease.
Even though my path grew steeper here,
Climbing seemed much easier for me.
I grew stronger with each step I took,
With impatience, my whole body shook.
On plateau number two, I stood tall.
Life had changed, for I became a man.
No longer able to be carefree,
For two kids I bounce upon my knee.
The sights before me are different now,
For I have reached plateau number three.
My kids now grown with kids of their own,
But warm thoughts of them still linger on.
As I stopped on plateau number four,
My path had narrowed and fear moved in.
I stood on ice with no trees to see,
And clouds concealed my valley below.
I’ve come a long way through thick and thin.
Each year has been filled with ups and downs!
Though I had more that I wished to say,
The cold damp air was too harsh this day.
My family has grown smaller with time,
As God called loved ones to be with Him.
But some have left without a goodbye,
For never did we see eye-to-eye.
Things are not the same in this high place,
But Frost did write, “I have miles to go…”
Doubts grow as my summit draws near,
And I wonder if I’ll find peace there.
The air I breathe is somewhat thin as
Light shines bright from my summit above.
I thank God for showing me the way,
And pray He will guide me through each day.
My journey near done, I wish for you,
That your days on earth be full of joy,
That the paths you choose are always true,
And for God’s light to shine upon you.
As you stand tall upon your summit,
Cast your eyes to the valley below,
For you climbed the mountain meant for you,
Which many said you could never do.
Tom Tatum – Author – 2016
Do you know where this monument is located?
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