We’ve all had our experiences of walking through the valley before finding our way to the mountaintop. And for whatever reasons, some of us take more trips to and stay in the valley longer than others.
On the way to the Mountaintop
While the mountaintop is certainly a great place to be, I like many of you, have learned my greatest lessons, found my greatest strengths, and learned more about myself than I ever have while I was on the top of the mountain.
I can safely say that I’ve gotten to know the landscape of some valleys very well, much too well sometimes, and have cursed the experience. I’m sure most of you feel the same way. Because when you’re in the valley, you trek across and fall in the sand pits. You have to cross the ravines. You have long stretches without water. You encounter ferocious wild animals. And sometimes you have absolutely no view of the mountain and are left wondering is there any hope at all. It can leave one feeling very isolated and can be debilitating.
The Human spirit
But somehow the human spirit kicks in or help arrives and causes you to take the next step, to fight your way out of the sand pit, and to run as fast as possible to get away from the things that are trying to attack you. And when you come out the other side, you are scraped up, exhausted, and wondering how in the world you survived. But you are thankful that you can now, once again, begin the ascent toward the mountain top, where we are always striving to be.
When you get to the mountain top, it’s not uncommon to look down toward the valley and see just how you did it. From the top you have a clear view. You can see the terrain and just how you managed to overcome all the obstacles and challenges that got in your way.
Perhaps in reflection, you determine someone did help you, that someone showed you the way out of the valley. Perhaps you made it on your own. However you did it, you can rest assured, that whatever you did can be used as comfort to help someone else know that they can do it too. And because of that journey, you now have the capacity and knowledge to lead someone else out of the valley who is struggling with the terrain.
The power of struggle
Never underestimate the power of struggle. Without a doubt, it’s easy to curse the experience. I’m sure I will again. But each time I get out of the valley, I have a better idea of the terrain and learn new skills which I have found to be not only of great benefit to me, but so many around me.
We’re all on a journey, many of us walking on the same terrain. I encourage you to be willing to share your knowledge and experience with others. It may very well be the life-line they need to make it out of the valley.