The surprisingly elusive messages of Amy Grant and Gary Chapman’s old song “Mountain Top” come into my consciousness every few months. Here are some of the words:
I love to sing and I love to pray
I worship the Lord most every day
I go to the temple and I just want to stay
To hide from the hustle of the world and its ways
I love to live on a mountain top
And be fellowshippin’ with the Lord
Love to stand on a mountain top
Because I love to feel my spirit soar
But I must come down from that mountain top
To the people in the valley below
They’ll never know that they can go
To the mountain of the Lord
Do these words encourage or discourage “mountaintop” experiences? Does the song say “yay, mountaintops! go for them!” or “put the ‘mountaintops’ in perspective”? I’m not sure I can tell, based on the last two lines. The song’s musical style is kinda calypso-ish and fun, but its message confuses me.
Recently, I heard a sister affirm those around us who seem to live on these spiritual mountaintops. She was gracious and genuine in the affirmation, but I couldn’t help but think, “I really don’t resonate with those mountain-people’s words very often.” People who walk about saying, “Oh, the Lord’s been teaching me so much this week!” and “God is good—all the time!” seem as though they live in an alternate universe–one that realizes the absolute goodness of God, yes, but one that doesn’t seem in touch with humanity.
A poem quoted by Avon Malone in Bible class years ago at Harding University sticks with me:
To dwell above with the saints in love
Aye, that will be glory!
But to dwell below with the saints I know–
That is a different story. . . .
Q: Does the Christian walk strike you as a series of peaks, or more of a ridge, or a series of hikes up and down, into and out of valleys?
Tomorrow: mountains in scripture