You and I are faced with a lot of challenges. Sometimes, you have a really challenging day. Sometimes, you have a really challenging week or even a month. Sometimes, you have a really challenging year. So the question I want to pose today is, “Where do you learn the most?”
I had a friend recently share that we learn the most in the valleys of life. It is there when we find struggle, when we find what is significant. The valleys create the opportunity for you and I to learn. At first, I agreed with my friend. Then, I gave more thought to it. I began to think about the mountain. When you are on top of the world, do you learn very much there? Many people will tell you no.
However, I am going to share something different today. I actually believe that you can learn just as much on the mountain as you do in the valley. The fact is that it is harder to learn on the mountain than when you’re in the valley. Why? Because, when you’re on top of the world, you might just kick back and take it easy. You might start thinking that you got to that place all by yourself with no help from God. That you deserve the top of the mountain because you’re just that great. And then you take it for granted. Once you’ve taken it for granted, you don’t get to stay on top of the mountain much longer. (I am not saying that if you are going through a valley, it is because you took the mountain for granted. That is not what this blog is about. We’ll go more in depth on the valley another time.)
The reason most people don’t learn very much at the top is because it is really hard to learn at the top. People tell you how great you are. People remind you of how wonderful you have it. Before long, you think you are the source of the good.
When you’re in the valley, you’re very aware of all the things that are going badly. You are aware of your struggle. So when you move through it, you find great joy in moving through the struggle. On the mountain though, the outside struggle is less. I would say that the struggle inside of you will be greater. So, when you’re on the mountain, how grateful are you? How do you show God your gratitude? How often do you look back to see how you got here, and truly examine the faithfulness of God, and your faithfulness to Him and the task He gave you that brought you here. You two are working together, you know?
The mountain becomes a very difficult place to learn. Only people who are very focused, thankful, and joy filled will appreciate the mountain for what it is. When they are there, they are often learning just as much as the person in the valley. Because things are good on the mountain, you have to work harder to learn there.
So where do you learn the most? You learn the most wherever you choose to learn the most. It is difficult to grind it out day after day at whatever level you are, and choose to learn. But isn’t it worth it? And wouldn’t it be nice to stay on the mountain a little while longer? To do that, you’re going to have to work hard to learn. And don’t forget where you came from. That’s why God always says, “Remember.” So that you and I are always more in love with the One who blesses us than the blessing that He has given us.