It’s midnight and I’m filled with fear. Tossing and turning, I’ve reluctantly given up any hope of sleep and, herbal tea in tow, I’m facing the mountain that’s just too big to climb. The part-time teaching job that starts on Thursday is especially scary, the need to arrange specialist childcare, the committee responsibilities, the endless church groups, the novel I’m desperate to finish, the blog posts I need to write. The list feels endless especially in this season of uncertainty that I’m currently in. The way feels steep, rocky and unstable underfoot. My mountain is so high, it appears to be blocking out the light and shrouding me in shadows. Yet, as I trudge through the muddiness of my mind, mulling over these anxieties, I realise I do actually have choices.
Perhaps I can turn my back on everything, bail out, give up but then I’d be letting others down, including my children, husband and myself. To abandon everything doesn’t seem very plausible and anyway, I’d probably just build another mountain; equally impossible and intimidating.
Or maybe I can muddle along, feeling inadequate and very much dismayed by this Everest. Drag myself through the daily grind, constantly worrying, working late, consumed by anxiety and dread. It’s probable I’d eventually reach the summit but to what cost? Weary, joyless, snappy, friendless (who wants to be around someone like that?) or worse, ill.
To be honest I’m not too keen on my choices so far but perhaps there is a third. Shouldn’t I look at this differently? Get a real perspective on all of this? Ask those age-old questions such as: what is my purpose in life? – Why am I here? – What’s my reason for getting up in the morning? (And it’s not just because the alarm clock has gone off.) As I start to ponder these questions, I’m reminded that to live in the fleshy, practical way of going about my day; ticking off lists, measuring my success by what I’ve achieved, well, that’s only half living. I pull myself up, amazed that, yet again, I’ve forgotten – I’m a faith-filled Christian! I’m not meant to climb mountains by myself! I’m looking at this mountain all wrong. I need to stand where God is standing. God of the impossible, God of all creation, God of love, God, who gives me true perspective. So, I do. I’m standing right by his side with his arm holding me tight. Aha! Already, that looks better! I’m far away enough now, that I can reach out, palm up and hold this mountain in my hand. It’s not so big and the shadows have gone. I’m getting the God perspective.