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Summary: In life we are faced with obstacles on a daily basis. Many times we cannot conquer them on our own. With God’s help mountains will become molehills.

CONQUERING MOUNTAINS

Peaks and valleys. Ups and downs. Mountains and molehills. We use different euphemisms to explain how our life progresses such as peaks and valleys or ups and downs. Life is never simple we all have our good days and our bad days. If we were to plot our life on a graph it would certainly take on a zig zag pattern. But, no matter what we call it it still ain’t pretty!

Today, I would like to talk about mountains and the valleys in between. Mountains come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be pretty when looked at across the valley. However, when we get up close we see all the rocks, crags and crevasses. Oftentimes we are awed by the sheer size and height and we begin to think just how puny we are in comparison. And then when we consider that we had thought about hiking or climbing up the mountain we tell ourselves we must have been crazy to think we could climb that monstrosity.

As the thoughts of our hubris sinks into our brain we become humbled,

Then we begin to doubt,

And finally,

We become terrified of the thought of placing even one foot on the mountain.

Here in the Low Country about the only mountain you can find is probably the mounds of trash at the local dump. On the other hand I was raised in an area where I could look out the window of my house or school and see the San Bernardino Mountains. And it did not matter whether I went to Death Valley, the Mojave Desert or the Coastal Mountains along Highway 101 the mountains were noticeable all around me.

I climbed many of those mountains, either by rope or walking a trail. I had no fear of those mountains they were part of my life. They were where I played and exercised. It was also where I went to think or pray. To me they represented the majesty of God.

Our time on earth is finite in comparison to how long the mountains have existed in the past and on into the future. According to geologists here in the states the oldest mountains are the Smokey’s and the Coastal Mountains in California. Whereas, the Rocky’s and Sierra Nevada’s are relatively young. However you look at it, when you are only 6 feet tall and the mountain you are staring at is 6000 ft tall, the mountain is much more impressive.

But, there are times when mountains are not majestic. When they don’t provide comfort, solitude or inspiration.

There are times when mountains are not something you can visualize. Instead, they are something you encounter or experience. Sometimes, the path over these mountains don’t exist and you have to blaze the trail. It is on these occasions when you discover the mountain is not something you see out the window. Rather, it is something lodged inside of you.

I believe that God puts these mountains in our path so that we can get some exercise. We can become rather sedate, comfortable, and unexcited in our religiosity. There are times when we need to get out of chairs and go on an expedition of discovery. We need to be challenged, to blaze that trail and ascend the heights in our relationship with God.

As a child I was constantly reminded not to make mountains out of molehills. What is the difference between a mountain and a molehill? The amount of dirt thrown on the pile. Sounds pretty simplistic doesn’t it? Yet, as silly as that sounds many times we believe that our problems are huge when they really are not. Once we start throwing dirt, we end up digging a bigger hole. The further down we dig the less we can see around us.

That is what happens when we get lost in the minutiae and forget to look at the big picture. What that does is make us lose focus. Our vision becomes obscured and we become, in a sense blinded.

So, you think you have a problem. What should you do?

First thing to do is isolate the variables. In other words, exactly what is the issue, break the problem down into its smallest components. Once you do that, then you start tackling the individual issues. I usually recommend starting with the simplest component. If you can easily conquer that issue you have begun building positive momentum.

A successful vision provides purpose and focuses our strengths, enables us to see our potential and allows us to conquer any problem. Yet, in order to focus on the problem, isolate the variables and conquer the issue we need to calm the beast within. We can not let the problem overwhelm us. We have to still our racing heart and tongue. We must have peace within to think clearly. There is only one place from which the peace we need will come. Turn with me to Psalms 121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?

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