Mountains and Valleys

Much of what won’t grow on the mountain tops will flourish in the
valleys.

It is challenging to go through these times, but these are the places
where we grow. Not much can grow on a mountain top, but much of what
nourishes us does grow in the valleys. As times get tough we grow
inside and produce the most incredible fruit. We discover resources
that we never knew were available to us, become more confident beings
and learn to lean on faith.

Whether it is at work, at home or at school the same principles usually
hold true. When the pressure is on we have no choice but to react to
it. The secret is to never react with our Ego. As we concern ourselves
with the thoughts of others we fall into a trap. We become less likely
to allow ourselves the necessity of falling back in order that we may
soon take a huge leap forward.

As we approach an obstacle in our path we must evaluate the present
situation and formulate a plan to get over it. It is rare that we stand
out on the edge of the ditch and make a standing leap. What is the
most common behavior in this situation? We take several steps back, get
a running start and leap forward with our eyes on the other side.

The greatest athletes in the world grow physically and mentally the more
they practice and train. Their muscles grow stronger and they become
more limber as their minds become more focused on their goals. Focusing
on anything hard enough and long enough will bring us to it. Soon
these athletes become stronger, more agile and more attuned to their
surroundings. This enables them to respond quickly in the face of
adverse conditions and make the necessary adjustment to move forward
successfully.

We can’t get to where we want to be without moving in that direction

We must never take the challenges of our daily lives as being negative.
Often what we may interpret as mistakes are really just elements of a
future success. In these perceived errors we learn and grow and as we
grow we become able to identify where we are and are more adept as we
decide in what direction we wish to go.

As a child I often felt that I somehow got the short end of the stick as
far as my relationship with my dad went. It rarely felt right and I
struggled through much of my childhood and adult life as a participant
in a somewhat ambiguous relationship with my dad. Much of the way he
dealt with me was directly related to the way he was dealt with by his
father. It was a learned by example scenario. This is not how I chose
to raise my children. In this we can choose to continue or choose to
change.

I reached a decision back in my childhood that this is not what I wanted
my relationship with my children to be. You see, the relationship that
I had with my father growing up was the valley in which the seed was
planted and from which the father that I am today flourished. As I
stepped back and evaluated the past I became able to run forward and
leap successfully into my future. My goal of a tight knit relationship
with my children had been established. Now I look from the mountain
tops at the beauty of the valley bellow.

It is Ok for us to evaluate and learn from the past, but we must never
allow the emotions associated with the past to tell us who we are. It
was only a small part of establishing our present being. Betrayal
taught us the power of forgiveness, being hated taught us about love, as
we were hurt we experienced the joy of healing. In all these things we
gained an in depth understanding of appreciation and our insight into
the power of gratitude was increased. Many of our losses taught us to
appreciate what we are given and to never take for granted the gifts we
have today.

Successes are our building blocks, perceived failures are our mortar and
God is our mason.

We are actually creating a stairway to walk upon. Brick by brick it
continually ascends upward. The strength of the structure is the key to
its continued success. Patience is crucial in allowing the mortar to
set properly. Hope exists on every step. Most importantly is how faith
allows us to continually move forward without seeing the end of the
stairway.

(Luke 6:48 New Living Translation) It is like a person building a
house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the
floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it
is well built.

Living a righteous life is what makes our foundation strong. Doing the
just thing at all costs and patiently waiting for the next stage of the
builders plan to be delivered will help us to avoid costly time
consuming errors. Hope and faith will continually hold our focus on the
prize and enable us to leap forward confidently into the unknown.

One day we will look down that stairway from heaven with the greatest of
gratitude and appreciation for all that we have experienced. We will
realize that our greatest achievements came from what we perceived as
failures. Struggles brought forth strength. Obscurity begot
enlightenment. It was in the valleys that we were nourished. In all
that there was came all that we are and all that we are created to be.

(Isaiah 30:19-21 King James Version) For the people shall dwell in Zion
at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto
thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer
thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the
water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner
any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall
hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye
turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

In faith always,

Ron Ash

Ron Ash’s Blog

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