Over the Hill

Its time to get up from the rock I’ve been sitting on the last couple of days and continue the trek up the mountain. 

I hope I am not making this mountain thing too philosophical but stick with me for a bit.  I have two key personal learnings regarding this mountain metaphor and life that I hope will be helpful.

First, life is a mountain.  This is not meant to be discouraging… just fact.  Life is not a flat plain.  Because we live on an incline, life constantly requires effort.  It means that it requires effort to just stay where we are. 

          “The only trouble with life is that it is so constant.”  - Anonymous

Since it requires effort to just remain in place it means that more effort is needed to get ahead.  A person who isn’t putting forth any effort doesn’t just come to a stop, in reality they start sliding back down hill. 

Side note:  Anything left unattended deteriorates.  This means anything…

  • Houses
  • Relationships
  • Cars
  • Children
  • Yard
  • Anything

When I finally grasped the life implications of this truth (the Law of Entropy) I began to look at things a lot differently.

It is important that you don’t confuse all effort with work.  Spending your entire life in labor has its own downfalls.  (different topic for a different time)

If you think about it, even fun enjoyable rewarding aspects of life require effort.  You have to make an effort to have friends, enhance your talents, expanding your mind, etc.  All of these bring joy and pleasure but require effort.

Second, you never reach the top… there is always more for you to experience, learn, enjoy, and contribute.  For years I have heard the phrase Over the Hill.    Although it was blurted out in a kidding jabbing sort of way it somehow signified your best days are behind and now you’re headed downward.

What some people believe as Over the Hill is in reality a person sliding back down.

Personal Note:  I know I will age but I never want to grow old

There is no question that as we age our senses start to dull; our bodies aren’t as strong and agile; and sometimes we just get tired.  But it is the journey that keeps us going.  The call from around the next corner, the anticipation of “what’s next”, and the joy going beyond where we thought we could go.

BUT… we are not over the hill!  We just have to be careful to keep from sliding back down the hill.

Very Important Note:  You can’t measure how high you are on the mountain by the amount of money you make, the places you’ve been or the position you hold.  It is something internal not external.

One of the powerful ah ha’s of life came when I was channel surfing one day a few years ago.  I ran across a program of a round table discussion with former child stars.  They were discussing the joys and challenges of the life of a child star.  The ah ha came when one of the former child stars indicated that it was extremely hard to accept that at eleven years of age you have reached your peak in life.

Wow, what a sad, stirring, and powerful statement.  To live with the perceived concept that at age eleven your best years are behind you.  But this is true for a lot of people who frame their life around a specific accomplishment (some athletes for example). 

Another ah ha of the opposite extreme came when reading a book by Chuck Colson called Loving God.

Side Note:  To my non-Christ follower friends… don’t worry I’m not getting preachy.  Just a great story.

Chuck Colson shared the story of Myrtie Howell.  Myrtie was alone at ninety one, living on a fixed income in a depressing home for the elderly.  But Myrtie continued her steps up the mountain by writing to people in prison.  She would contact a prison and ask for names of inmates who didn’t get mail.  So she wrote them.  She became Grandma Howell to many inmates who were alone and unknown.

Humm… it’s interesting to me that I don’t remember the child stars name but I remember Grandma Howell.

The body may give out but there is still more.  The steps smaller and slower, but there’s still more.  Because you see, the higher you get on the mountain the greater the view and greater the reward. 

So I continue to climb.  Wanna join me?

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