We Christians talk about “mountaintop experiences” a lot.
I work at camp. I see “mountaintop experiences” all the time. Retreats are basically made for this purpose. They are intended to draw people out from their everyday routine, and bring them to a place where they can focus without distractions. Then they leave.
The problem is never the mountaintop, but rather the valley faced afterwards.
In Israel last month, I stood atop several mountains. After a while we became numb to multiple stunning views a day. The picture above was from Mount Arbel in Galilee. Most likely this was the mountain where Jesus would often retreat to pray. It was my favorite site we visited.
This is also most likely the spot Jesus chose the Twelve.
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” -Mark 3:13-15
Being in Israel was an amazing experience. One of my most favorite things I have ever done.
I might not ever go back to Israel, but I know I will have more mountaintop experiences. Actually, I hope I do. I love summers at camp, I still think family vacations are the best, reunions with my friends from college is always a blast, and every retreat brings much-needed rest.
When I come down from the “mountaintop,” what then? The valleys are waiting, full of opportunities. Opportunities to wallow and stare up wishing to be atop the mountain again, or opportunities to explore, move forward, and make known the Name of Jesus.
Jesus expected his disciples to move forward and make the Name of Jesus known. He expects the same of us.