Monsters and mountains – we have to conquer them. There is no way around it. We need to fight every step of the way to climb our mountains; we need to chase our monsters instead of our monsters chasing us.
The apostle Peter probably never forgot the horrible night when he was too weak to stand up for his best friend, the night when he cowered by the fire, denied who he was, and betrayed a friendship. The one person he admired most, the precious person near and dear to his heart, the One to whom he defiantly said just moments ago: I will die for you – he betrayed Him. And the worst thing about it: The Lord already knew. He turned around and looked him in the eye right about the time the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered. Jesus had actually told him that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed. How ashamed he felt that night, how miserable and worthless, nobody can tell.
Peter emerged from this nightmare a much humbler person. And here is his recommendation: Add to your faith. In other words: grow. Everything changes and so must our faith. Our faith matures. Our inability to accept change stunts our growth and keeps our faith small. On the other hand, when we embrace change, face our fears, and climb every mountain our faith is bound to grow.
After His resurrection Jesus asked Peter three times: “Do you love me?” That is a question we also need to answer. Our love for Him is the most important part of our faith. Jesus loves us – that’s why we believe. We believe – that’s why we love Him.
Mountains have an issue date. Millions of years in the making, they were formed in three different ways:
Mountains grow under pressure as a result of Earth’s tectonic plates smashing together;
Or they emerge based on volcanic activity;
Or they are carved through erosion;
An astonishing example of erosion on the North American continent is the Grand Canyon. Its story is fascinating! While the Colorado River has been carving the Grand Canyon for only 6 million years, it is flowing through canyons that date back to about 70 million years ago. Experts are still split over the exact age of the Grand Canyon. The Himalayas are generally thought to have arisen from the collision of India and Asia 55 million years ago – although the age of the Himalayas is also in question. Some go as far as 450 million years. We simply don’t know because we have not been around long enough to watch and record the forming of the mountains.
The age span of mountain ranges puts our own issue date into perspective. There are many things that have preceded us. God took His time to form the mountains. He was there before the mountains were born.
Relying on the Rock of Ages, we are in good company. All of creation does. Maybe this helps us realize that some things may not materialize in our life time and be OK with it. Microwaved solutions smell of impatience anyway. Patience builds mountains over millions of years while impatience leaves destruction in its wake. “Well” – you might say – “I don’t have a million years!” Personally, I think if we thought beyond our own generation, if we thought of the generations to come, then we would go about our business in a slightly different fashion. It starts with preserving this planet for our children and children’s children. Peace is definitely the best legacy we can leave them. And I believe that our peacemaking efforts form a mountain in its own right: a mountain of peace, a monument of God’s love.
Our lifetime maybe short compared to the Himalayas, but our impact goes beyond our generation and contributes to a better tomorrow.