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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Mountains (09/20/04)

By Charles Lee


“Well how tall does it have to be?” This was a question I asked a friend one day while hunting in the hills of Tennessee several years ago. We had just gotten to the top of the hill and stopped to take a break. “I’ve…gasp…never…gasp…been on…wheeze…a mountain…gasp…before.” Jogging around to “keep his circulation going”; he informed me that this was just a hill. Thus the question. He answered that a mountain had to be so many feet tall to be qualified as a mountain. Having the oxygen sucked from my brain cells had hindered my ability for coherent thought and so I just lay there pretending to enjoy nature while hoping my heart wouldn’t pound out of my chest. Maybe it wasn’t a mountain, but it sure did seem like one at the time.

As I grew accustomed to the “hills” and got into better physical shape, I was able to take my place with the elite who got to poke fun at others who mistook hills for mountains. I also took the time to see an actual mountain.

Looking out over the world from the top of one of these mountains, I couldn’t help but wonder what God thought of these magnificent rock piles. So I went back to creation. From the making of the heavens and the earth, the hanging of the sun and moon and stars, and the speaking into existence all the animals, when God got through, He looked at it and said it was good. Good? Well, at the end He said very good. Not breathtaking, not mind-boggling, or any other adjective that would exclaim in a loud voice how amazing this world is: …just good.

It makes me wonder just how, um, good, heaven must be. I’m sure its grandeur would truly suck all the oxygen from the brain cells that I possess.

As my daughter came to me with her mountain of a problem the other day: something to do with school so mom had to handle it, I considered how my mountain problems must look in the eyes of God. Flatter than the Delta region no doubt.

Over the years, I’ve learned somewhat how to turn these mountain problems over to the creator of mountains. Undoubtedly, as I do with my children, He compassionately helps me see that there is no mountain to tall, that with His help, I cannot climb and get over. Many times, though, I just lay there gasping for breath and questioning, “You sure this isn’t a mountain?”

Member Comments
Member Date
Desert Rose09/27/04
How true! I stopped wondering though, and have just been amazed at how well God handles everything, even when it is not to our liking. His ways are not ours, but they sure are a whole lot better.
Carol Shaffron09/27/04
Perspective is everything. When we view God as BIGGER than any problem --- our mountains become like ant hills in comparison. But yes, even the smallest of hills can leave us panting for breathe and feeling just a little overwhelmed and weary!!!
L.M. Lee09/28/04
really enjoyed the analogy you drew...and I could feel my lungs caving in, grasping for air!
Rose Gingerich09/29/04
Charles, Great story! I like the analogy of hills and mountains. Your discriptions had me there where I could visualize it. My lungs almost hurt. :)
Blessings, Rose
Dave Wagner09/29/04
Saw a movie once called "The Man That Went Up A Hill and Came Down A Mountain". Reminded me of this, in a way. It had to do with a hill that was a dozen or two feet short of qualifying as a mountain, and the local proud village that didn't want their mountain called a "hill"...so they set about hauling dirt up to the top to increase the hieght of it, making it officially a mountain. Pretty good flick, if memory serves correctly.

The bible doesn't say much about heaven, really. Sea of glass and fire, a horse, souls before the rainbow throne, etc. I guess that could all be breath-taking, in a way, but I'm sure that's not what you meant.

I liked the piece, except for the transition at the end into the "mountains = problems" analogy. That didn't seem to fit - like an extra thing tacked on at the end. Really, the piece doesn't need it. Perhaps you added it to make the minimum word count or some such, I don't know. But the rest is solid enough to stand on its own, in my opinion. Confidence!

Thanks for posting.
Marcell Billinghurst09/30/04
A lovely story about the awesomeness of the mountains. Thank God He can see the bigger picture, even though at times, we are overwhelmed, by their size. Well done.
Henry Swart10/01/04
I like your question: "How high does it have to be?" When is it a hill and when is it a mountain?

I do think you could have made the transition from "mountain" to "problem" more smooth, but in general, it's a very good piece - and a good lesson.