In order to be able to persevere when climbing a mountain, one must focus on the trail but must never forget to glance, once in a while, at the mountaintop. The mountaintop is your destination, your goal, your objective. It is what you signed up for — why you are climbing in the first place. Without the mountaintop, the trail will not be necessary. Without the mountaintop, the struggle will not be worth it.
In life, our mountaintop is heaven — the deepest longing of our hearts. Sure, we have our lifetime goals to work for. We work hard for that promotion, or that quota, or that profit. We aim to be faithful spouses and struggle to be good parents. We burn our lamps to make ends meet or pass that board exam. But all these pertain to the “trail”, not the “mountaintop”. Once in a while, we must force ourselves to glance at the mountaintop, our ultimate destination, in order to make sense of the struggle in the trail.
Sadly, many people get so consumed by their temporal goals that they forget all about their ultimate one. On one hand, they rejoice so much on their earthly victories, that they get so attached to this life and yearn for nothing more. On the other hand, they mourn so much their losses that their view of the mountaintop become hazy. Their tears cloud their view. Their despair blocks their sight.
Recently, I spoke with a man who had one of those near death experiences. And his account was typical. He spoke of hovering above the emergency room ceiling while doctors and nurses tried to revive his body. He spoke of a cocoon-like container enveloping him which according to him was undoubtedly God’s hand. He spoke of pure love that clothed him as a he approached a blinding light at the end of a dark tunnel. Then just as he was about to approach the light, he was yanked back to his body. He awoke amidst the cheers of everyone inside the emergency room. Everyone was happy except him. When asked “why?”, he said, “When you saw what I saw, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else…”
Once you see the beauty of the mountaintop, you wouldn’t want to go back to the trail.
My friend, work hard and be grounded. But don’t be too consumed by this life that you forget the next. This life is the front-act to the main show. The warm-ups before the main game. The preliminary fights before the main one.
Walk on the trail as hard as you can. But lest you forget, the mountaintop is where you are destined to be!
I remain, your brother in Christ,