The Gifts of the Valley
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
So many of us would prefer to live on top of the mountain, where it appears life is full of positive moments. Yet, we seem to find ourselves in constantly going through the disappointments of the valley. It seems no matter how much we try to escape from this place, we seem to end up back in these painful valleys. We do the work , we make progress scaling the mountain, or even believe with all the faith we have, but, to no avail.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death
Yet, when I review many biblical stories or other inspirational stories it seems most people are going through valley journeys. It’s just that some are very challenging and others reveal various mountain top experiences, right in the valley. Do you think it’s possible for us to take a different perspective on these valley experiences? Can being in the valley not be about walking through the shadow of death or strife? Is it possible for us to make the valley our home and reveal this space as the glory of the mountains? I believe we can.
My calling has me living in the valley, meeting with people who are struggling through these shadows. I too wanted to get the hell out of this place. I initially envisioned myself visiting the valley to help, then returning to “my life” on top of the mountain. It seemed to me that people living there had it made and those of us in the valley were worse off. Then I realized I was idealizing stories of people living “on top” and demonized those of us living here in the valley. I took a metaphor living in the valley of the shadow of death and made it represent reality.
Shifting Perspective (and Mindset)
When I chose to shift my perspective and mindset I now began to create mountain top experiences for myself right here in the valley. The valley is full of life and wonders, hidden in the pain of disappointments, even betrayal. There are people in the valley who believe they are actually living on the metaphorical mountain top, but are in deep denial. They create stories of them being better than their neighbors who live up the street, just because they live in a cul de sac. Shifting my perspective helped me now live from a space where both the valley and mountain top are free for me to roam. I recognize that people can live in either places and make the space the metaphorical valley of the shadow of death or that great mountain top experience of being free, happy and living in abundance. The wisdom I have, came from going through the painful valley experiences. How do you see your valleys? What encouragement do you have for those struggling through the pain, strife and even suffering of their valley experiences? Please share.