The Mountain You’re Stuck On

Mark 11:23-24

Consider Your Favorite Mountains

I suggested yesterday that mountains have their good qualities, lest we go about dropping them into the ocean without thought and thereby raising the sea level to a point that Atlanta is on the coast. But I’d like today to dwell a bit on the negative aspects of mountains.

Mountains can be seductive. Think back to that story about Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter–foot in mouth as usual–got so excited that he wanted to build houses on the mountain to stay there. In Exodus 33, after the débâcle of the Golden Calf, the people of Israel mourned when directed to leave Sinai.

It’s possible that a really great mountain isn’t standing in your way in the sense of blocking your route. Instead, maybe that mountain is standing in your way by keeping you in place. I didn’t think I was going there when I started writing this, but it occurs to me that our current struggle over renaming our church could be such a mountain.

We like this name. We like our identity as “First” or “Baptist.” And indeed this name has served us well for years. But if we linger on a mountain when God wants us to move on, if we cling to particular music or a particular style of teaching or a particular paint color on the walls or anything, then that has the potential to be a mountain that doesn’t block our way but instead prevents us from moving on our way.

Tell it to move. It’ll move. And if it doesn’t move, then maybe it’s a good mountain.

  • What are the mountains in your life that cause you to avoid stepping out on the path God has planned for you?
  • Are there good mountains that we ought to preserve at all costs? Or that we should just preserve for the time being?
  • Pray this week that God will give you the insight to distinguish between the mountains that should move and those that should stay.