Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Another Thought on the Mountain
August 23, 2011Posted by on
I climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, and I wrote a couple thoughts down as I hiked. I share them with a disclaimer: I participate here in the age-old writer’s tradition of comparing a mountain to life’s journey. The pile of rough drafts from writers who’ve used such a metaphor could likely form its own mountain. You can throw these blogs on top.
Climbing a mountain is like friendship… (Pondering #2)
I’ve heard this advice a number of times: “If you want to find a wife, focus your attention solely on God and run toward Him with all your heart. When the day comes that you look to your right and see a woman running alongside you, you’ve found your mate.” Just make sure to serve Gatorade at the wedding. I never liked that advice. Spiritual connection in a marriage is like my water bottle on a hike. Without it, I can’t go very far. But the idea of a marriage based solely on spiritual equality lacks so much passion. What about roses and laughter and desire for children and similar interests and…you get the idea.
That being said, it struck me that climbing toward a summit is like friendship. The deepest experiences of friendship occur when we look into the soul of another and see our own face. In this regard, friendship is like climbing a mountain. In the toil and strain of pursuing a certain end, we look over to see another hoping, dreaming, and striving for such a goal. As Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
The marriage metaphor breaks down because in it, there is only one mountain (God), and therefore it is wrong to assume that someone climbing at your pace would automatically qualify for marital compatibility. In the friendship metaphor, consider that there are lots of mountains (goals in life) and most of our friendships do happen as we pursue our own ends and find others on the same path.