Some are on top. Others are in the valley.
Same mountain, though.
The top of the mountain top is a high place of achievement. From here, we see so much and the borders of the horizon never seem to end. It's a place where you drive a stake into the ground and shout out a barbaric YAWP that attempts to echo into all of history. It's where you have foresight and can comfortably sum things up from a bird's eye perspective.
And yet all high peaks are risky (often slippery) places where we can easily fall backward. The force of gravity works against us, pulling us down the very same angle we just climbed and feel entitled to enjoy. All it takes is one mistake in our step and we begin the tumble, desperately grasping for anything solid to grab on the way down. Knowing that mistake might come causes many to play it safe, creating makeshift camps that we call castles.
This is the irony of the mountain top... we all enjoy it, yet secretly fear enjoying it for we fear losing it.
On the other hand, the valley of a mountain is often viewed as a low place of humility. It's dark... and scary... and barren... and without esteem... and its only expected echoes are ones of loneliness. Anyone in it expects to be viewed as a failure, for no one makes it a priority to end up in it.
And yet the valley is consistently consistent. It is here where our steps can become stronger, meatier, and thicker. In this instance, the weight of gravity works in our favor for one cannot slip someplace lower... unless they give up entirely. If embraced as a blessing, the valley can offer a sense of security the mountain top cannot. When we get into such a questionable place where our very survival is endangered, we are forced to grapple with an unpredictable God and our own unexpected outbursts. And likewise, we begin to ask better questions about if we really trust Him, really understand who we are, and really want to be in a relationship with Him where He doesn't always tell us everything.
This is the irony of the mountain valley... we all dread it, yet in hindsight can retaliate against such short-sightedness with the wisdom of enlightenment.
The true irony, though?
Amazingly... God is in both.
So whether you're camped out on the mountain top or tip-toeing through the mountain valley, what are you learning about your faith?
When life is easy, what does and doesn't come out of you?
And likewise, when all of a sudden life is no longer easy and you really have to figure it out with the benefit of foresight, what emerges then?
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." (Psalm 139:7-8)