Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From the Mountain to the Valley

Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.

There have been many times in my life when I have been on a Spiritual mountain top. Many of those times have come from conventions and conferences I have gone to. At the conferences I have been recharged through workshops, worship, and the messages that were preached. I have also sent to the mountain top through times of great spiritual growth. Those have been times when I have been studying and something has really clicked in my understanding of God and who he is. Other mountain top experiences have come after the conclusion of something great our church has done. Whether it was a successful VBS program, to a neighborhood block party, or to just a really great Sunday service, the mountain top has been experienced. However, with each mountain top experience there has always been a valley lurking just around the next bend.

After a long stint of ministry, convention, or even a great Sunday service, I almost always experience that valley. Sometimes it happens immediately after and sometimes it takes a few days to sink in. When those days happen I am almost useless. I want to lie around, I have no drive or work ethic, I have a complete lack of personality, and I am just not pleasant to be around. I am sure you have experienced times like this in your life as well.

In today’s reading (Mark 9) we see the both ends of the spectrum with Jesus. The reading opens up telling about the transfiguration of Jesus. Here Jesus is once again blessed by God in his mission of salvation. Jesus is reminded of the glory he had and will soon have when he is home again with the father in Heaven. But when this event is over Jesus is thrown right back into the real world; the world he came to save.

Coming down from the mountain he finds the remaining nine disciples trying to cast out a demon. Here there is an argument going on about their ability and Jesus ability/authority to cast out demons. He is thrust right back into the real world dealing with the petty arguments that come from human minds. Jesus has gone from the mountain top to the valley in a very short period of time. Jesus though handles it well. He keeps plugging along. He keeps teaching and he even helps this father who wants his only son to be removed of this wicked demon.

How do you handle the transition from the mountain top to the valley? I know there are times I do not do it well. The valleys do not last long, but man I am no fun to be around. My wife knows just to steer clear of me on those days. However, that should not be the case. I need to work harder at preparing for the valley, the return to the real world, and handle it much like Christ did.
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