a mountain that made us nervous

We needed to break up the days that can get you stuck in a place where there is no adventure, no intrigue.  We needed to scrub clean all the days between the not doing and the doing.  We needed, once again, to find a mountain that made us nervous.  — “Friends in High Places,” Bicycling magazine, June 2011

While the context of this particular quote is a group of cycling friends traveling to California to climb Mount Baldy (Stage 7 of this year’s Tour of California), it could just as accurately express my own thoughts on many a day.

I know, I know… I’m the guy who lives in Africa, swims in Lake Victoria, runs alongside baboons on beautiful mountain trails, and fords rivers in his 4WD truck in order to kill lions with his bare hands.

 “You’ve got absolutely no right to complain about boredom!  You don’t work like a caged hamster, spinning the same wheel every day for the reward of a few drops of water and fresh wood chips on your newspaper lining.”

So maybe I should keep my mouth shut.  But I, like everyone,* long for my days to be worth something.  I want to be part of a larger event, an actor in a bigger story, a player in the championship game.  I fancy adventure, and I covet every new challenge.

We needed, once again, to find a mountain that made us nervous.

And then — in those moments that are all too rare — I remember… God is my mountain.

May God be your mountain.

Related post:
restlessness and a lack of adventure

* And possibly more so, as I once was one who worshiped my own accomplishments and could very well have been rightfully accused of having an addiction to adventure and conquest.


Filed under just thinking, living in africa

12 responses to “a mountain that made us nervous

  1. randy morgan


  2. I sense such a holy longing here. Your disclaimer is in the past – seek to fulfill the desires of your heart! It will make God smile.

    • thanks for the encouragement, becky. much better than randy’s one misspelled word.

      • randy morgan

        sorry about the misspelling. after reading this post i was so completely overcome with emotion that i was quivering violently whilst trying to type and inadvertently struck the “e” key twice. i promise i will never make another error for as long as i live.

  3. Carley

    The Spirit is so obviously moving in this area/topic of my life right now. It’s contented discontent. The more I know God, the more content I am in Him and the more discontent – perhaps because He is my mountain….this requires more thought and meditation…thank you for sharing!

    • and thank you for reading, carley. i suppose it’s very possible that we must trade contentment for discontentment and vice versa as we grow closer to God. what i mean to say is that those things in which we’re content may become those things in which we are no longer content, etc. i really have no idea how to say what i’m trying to say.

  4. I love this one. And I think I understand exactly what he means. Sometimes I think it is my little adventures with Jason, the new things I try, the difficult things I attempt that help with daily contentment. I’m not sure those things are actually worth anything really, but I do feel they draw me closer to what is in some way.

    • you know… it was really interesting that a few days after reading this article about climbing mt. baldy on bikes, i read an article about climbing mt. washington in a running road race. and the article listed other road races that are only climbs. one of them was at mt. baldy. anyway, none of that’s important or even related to what you wrote. but you like running and i figure there’s a good chance you read the same article a few months ago in runner’s world. [most of my magazine reading is several months late.]

  5. 1) Such a serious writer for so many funny comments on my blog.
    2) I’m going to kill you for not correcting me until now.
    3) That #2 isn’t entirely true. Maybe.

  6. Is it CS Lewis who wrote that we will never be fully satisfied in this life?

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