THE MOUNTAIN OF LIFE
by David L. Weatherford.
A young boy stood at the foot of an unimaginably enormous mountain. It was so tall he could not see the top. For a long while, he stared at the huge piece of earth, contemplating the challenge of climbing the mountain. Not far away, he spotted an old man. He approached the man and asked him about the mountain and what would be required to successfully scale the great obstacle. The old man, it turned out, had for many years watched as countless others navigated their way up the mountain, and he offered the wisdom of his years to the youngster.
`This is the mountain of life, young fellow,` he began. `Everyone must face the challenge of the mountain; some will reach the summit, but many will fall. I cannot tell you how to reach the top, for each climber must find his own way. But I will share with you 10 laws that apply to climbing the mountain of life. `He then went on to recite them to the young boy:
1. While many people believe there is only one path to the mountaintop, this is not so. Indeed there are many routes that lead there. It is not the path chosen that is key, but rather the way in which one travels.
2.If you stop to whine every time you step on a pebble, you will never reach the top.
3.The best climbers are those who stop to help pull up others who are struggling. It seems to strengthen their arms and legs when they lift others, making themselves more powerful climbers.
4.The difficulties and disappointments faced during the trek to the top will lead to many questions. As you ponder the mysteries of the mountain, take comfort in knowing that all questions will be answered at the summit.
5.The endeavor goes best for those who make the climb with a sense of purpose and presence. It is possible to find purpose in learning, growing and helping as one moves toward the destination; and there is joy in being fully present in each moment, enjoying the beautiful sights and experiences along the way.
6.It is well known that the journey up the mountain varies greatly over time. At times it is pleasant and calm, with cool winds and shade; other times, rocky and treacherous, with long periods of darkness and rain. The successful climbers learn to accept it all--appreciating and savoring the good times, while discovering their strength and will in the hard times.
7.Some will be lazy or misguided and will fail to make the required effort to reach the top. They will play, loaf, and indulge themselves never getting far from the foothills. They will forget the benefits of the hard, but wondrous pilgrimage and never know the rewards gathered at the joyful destination.
8.Remember,everyone you meet on the uphill journey is struggling with the mountain just as you are. You can never know what heavy burdens they must carry with them as they try to find their way. It serves no purpose to discourage, criticize, or judge anyone else. If you can help someone, do it--but never let your treatment of others add to their burden.
9.Because of the adverse conditions that occur along parts of the trip, accompanied by periods of discouragement and even hopelessness, one requires faith to transverse the most arduous aspects of the climb. How else can one navigate in darkness, find his or her way back after being lost, and stay strong when the specter of failure rises up again and again?
10.The Maker of the Mountain waits at the mountaintop to receive those who make their way to the summit of serenity. Wise climbers learn to talk in their hearts to the Maker as they travel, that they might receive an internal light to warm them when they are cold, and guide them when they are in darkness.
And with that said, the old man wished the lad well on his effort to ascend the great mountain. The youngster thanked him and walked away to begin the climb. And under his breath the old man said softly, `I hope I will see you at the top, my child.`
And I will.....