WOW. wow. WoW.
So I completely thought once I finally arrived back on American soil that I was ready to see all and do all. Why on earth would I think that?! Maybe it was the 20 hours of sleep the first night back “home” that confused me into thinking I could take on life here. It wasn’t long into my time of washing all my clothes from the trip (which I will unashamedly refer to as the “Shame Pile”…they were pretty nasty!) that it all hit me. Well, at least, it began to hit me – this trip and what I was downloading from it. That’s when I went into somewhat of a seclusion : )
I’m still processing a good deal and I would like to share the trip as much as I can with my blogging friends. I hope to go through each day and capture some essence of it here and post a whole lot of pictures, because if you’re like me, you don’t actually read National Geographic, but rather prefer to flip through the amazing pictures ; ) (just kidding….well, sort of!). There really is so much to tell!!! That’s why I must break it up into days or stories, which not all are glamorous and in all honesty, I wonder if some may offend you. I realized on this trip the Gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive, and not just to the non-Christian, but maybe more so in the sanctifying work of a Christian’s life. So, in the days and weeks to come, I would like to share this journey with anyone who’d like to hear, laugh, cry and maybe even be willing to be challenged because frankly, I sure have been and it’s been primarily since I’ve been back on American soil. I PROMISE it’s not all deep and heavy!!! I had an incredible team and we spent many of our hours laughing to the point of crying : ) If I can somehow capture those times, I will!
WARNING: NEXT SEGMENT MAY BE A LITTLE DEEP! Advise drinking coffee before embarking….
One of the greatest challenges for me today and I’ll leave with this thought (as I have been pondering it a whole lot) is the challenge of the Mountaintop. We live so much for mountaintop experiences, thinking in getting there, that will be our greatest revelation and turning point. I do believe the Lord gives us moments where He takes us aside, maybe alone or a few of us at a time, and just like He did with the some of the disciples, takes us up and transfigures Himself before our eyes. We see a glory of Jesus we had not seen – sometimes it’s on a physical summit in life, but more often, I think He decides the climax of a summit and there chooses to reveal Himself in a new and special way. The important thing though, that I’ve been challenged with, is not the summit itself. You cannot remain at such high places (literally!! We would have died up at that altitude!) – you must begin the rigorous journey down, overcoming obstacles just like when you were on your way up. What I am realizing is of utmost important are the 3 phases of climbing:
1. The journey leading to the “summit” – which is all preparation to receive the next glory…
2. The revelation at the “summit” – which just means, what did the Lord reveal and speak into your heart through the Word
3. The descent from the summit, where the greatest challenge exists: Will I do and move forward in what was revealed on the journey to and at the place of “revelation”?
Just like in climbing, the hardest leg of the journey is not the one leading up, but the one coming back down the mountain. It’s SOOOO easy to forget the revelation and the journey that God allowed to lead us to a deeper place in Him. The journey after is by far (I’m finding) the greatest challenge because now I am held accountable with what I have seen, heard and what the Lord challenged me to do. It’s easy to move on and forget, but to forget means to waste the training, challenge, strain and principles learned to get to a view of God that you had not been able to see before. The glory of any summit is priceless (and I am speaking metaphorically as well), but we cannot stay there – just like the disciples witnessing the transfiguration. Now that they had seen Jesus in a far more glorious and greater way then on the way up, the challenge was to live out in the valleys below that greater revelation.
I sense that so much since being back and this is NOT AT ALL to make much of Shelly Torres. Bleh! We all are called to make much of Jesus and to spend our lives living out the next glory – because our eyes have seen and beheld Him in a way that’s changed our perspective, so our living day-to-day must change too. Oh sure, the pull to go back to life before the summit is still there! I feel it all the time! It’s the allure of comfort and the flesh — yep, it’s strong. But I pray for myself, as I do for anyone who may read this and for the Body of Christ at large, we will not settle for less than the glorious display of Jesus Christ. Just as we fought for the summit, we would fight to continue on in what was revealed to us and not trade it for meaningless purposes. Rather that I would spend my life, forsaking the lures of the descent that take my focus off Him and following hard “the vision” there after. Sure, the vision may be a little vague in nature, but by faith to press on and into it as it grows and develops. We are held accountable not for what we don’t know yet, but rather what we’ve seen and heard.
That’s my Mountaintop Challenge to the valleys below!