Up and Downs

Mountains are high; valleys are low.  What goes up must come down.  Pride goes before a fall.  The first shall be last.  These simple phrases tend to illustrate what we all face every day, that life has its ups and downs.

photo courtesy of Amoury Hudson

photo courtesy of Amoury Hudson

We tend to think that joy is found in the highs and that sorrow is found in the valleys.  Sometimes that may be so.  But look at the picture here.  Valleys are beautiful.  You can’t ride a bike on a mountain peak, and there are real dangers up there just to keep your feet solidly planted on the ground at the top of the world.  I am thinking of the climbers who tragically died over the weekend just coming down from Mt. Everest.  May God rest their souls. There is real danger in the higher altitudes, but in a valley you can really get somewhere; make time, do things with less danger.

I am thinking of a myriad of singers, actors, writers, politicians, financiers, even preachers who had gained it all but lost it dramatically due to pressures, scandals, drugs, or physical or mental collapse. Those kind of lows are difficult from which to recover.  Sometimes it is necessary to come down from the mountain top and live the simple life in the valley. And sometimes it is necessary to crawl out of the hole; pick yourself up from the floor of the valley and walk among the living. Have patience while you are in the crawling stage, and engage in life around you.

Two people in my life are fighting major cancer problems right now.  Both are Christians with strong faith.  Both have been quite ill, in a valley, so to speak.  Perhaps it might even be said they are lower than a valley….a pit, or a chasm of despair for example.  Still with faith and the prayers of many, both are doing better then they were a month ago, and much better than anyone could dream of.  So being in a valley might have its lows, but consider also, you can walk on level ground in a valley.  People can help you down there because most people live in the valleys.

“Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

These words from the Christian’s holy bible describe a walk in the valley.  Read it again.  There’s a lot of promise there.  Long life is not promised in this age, but blessings are promised for the life that we have.  And in the future, the long home; eternal life.

So, my good readers, enjoy the ups and downs of life and find the joy!


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