I used to go to the mountains to escape my worries. I figured if I could run fast enough through the trees, up and over rocks, ducking between the tangled branches, the hurt that weighed me down would not be able to keep up. And for a while, it worked.
I would return home, shoulders standing a little taller without the extra weight, all those troubles lost somewhere in the wind. But besides temporarily feeling better, I started to wonder what the benefit of this was...how could I help anyone else if I buried burdens deep in a mountainside? What would happen when I uncovered them later? Even worse--what if someone else stumbled upon them and had to carry them out as their own?
So one day as I ran, salt drip dropping into my eyes, knees dirtied from falling, I decided to face them. Bring up the worries I’d shoved onto shelves, blew off the dust so I could get a good look. It was, as you could imagine, uncomfortable.
Comfort is easy. Discomfort is necessary.
I took this newly found discomfort, and ran with it. Wrapped my fingers tightly around it, and tucked it away in my pack, right next to my snacks; both required for the journey ahead.
Now, when I reach my summits, I carefully take out each problem or question, and rather than toss them off the edge, I start the process of untangling. Looking for the answers with three hundred and sixty degrees of perspective. Valleys, peaks, mountain lakes, sunlight dancing on ridgelines that reach towards the sky. Each a part of the other, I breathe deep and take it all in. Running with the discomfort, instead of running from it.
In our day to day lives, we see ONE view--OUR view. We live in one world--OUR world. The path laid out in front of us is unique to us...but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. There is more than one way up the mountain.
As you study and learn and take in everything that has happened in this first half of 2020, stop trying to escape the discomfort you are feeling in your head, in your heart. Shutting off, shutting down, and running away doesn’t help solve a problem--it just leaves it for someone else to uncover. Try to see everything from all sides--from the deepest shadowed lakes to the tallest sunlit peaks, and all the beauty that stretches out in the uncharted inbetween. Do your part to start the process of untangling, and try to see beyond your own individual path.
YOUR world is not THE world.
Come find me on the mountain. You go your way, I’ll go mine, let’s sit together at the top.