The Summit. It’s over 29,000 feet to the top of Mount Everest. Yet many have done the necessary training to climb to the top. Those who have vary in age and stature, each with their own reason to take the necessary steps to accomplish such a feat. Yet each share in one common thread. They climbed one step at a time.
One of the people I interviewed years ago was author and speaker John Croyle. He seemed a mountain to me. I’m 5’1″, he’s about 6’7″ with an even larger presence. This was an intimidating man full of charisma, charm, and a laser focused agenda. My time with him was to discuss his decision to decline an opportunity to play professional football in order to pursue God’s plan for his life. Due to an early childhood trauma John had a heart for hurting kids. When John saw a story about neglected child, he wanted to help. When a child was abandoned, it kept him up an night. He knew God called him to rescue children in crisis. Thus the idea behind Big Oak Boys Ranch in Alabama.
His is an inspiring story of a man pursuing a dream. Yet during our time together he sensed something in me he felt the urge to address. At our table I had files of information and a tape recorder. My preparation was obvious. Yet he stopped mid interview, looked into my eyes, leaned in and smiled. “Give me that notebook.” Startled, I relented, handing it over. Though I couldn’t see what he was doing I realized he was drawing. On my paper. Silence continued as he worked. Once finished he looked back up.
“There is something I need you to know.” I leaned in. “You can’t leap.” He revealed his drawing. He had drawn peaks and valleys. The peaks were tall, the valleys low. “To reach the peaks, you have to go in the valleys.” He recognized my youth, my ambition, and my sense of urgency. He also sensed the driving passion to pursue God’s plan for my life. “Don’t miss the valleys, it is there you will learn the most.” He handed me the drawing and repositioned my stuff. “Next question?”
Peaks? I’m great at those. Yet there have been valleys. Admittingly I’ve not embraced many of them. Most I’ve fought tooth and nail, often begging from my knees for God to give me the wisdom to understand and the energy to get up. Then I remember the words of John Croyle, knowing God sent me a life message through this man. “No leaping.” I press on.
Mountains can be scary. Yet with each one we reach a point where we can see an unhindered view of what God can do through us as we Trust him, one faithful step at a time.
Peaks and Valleys. No leaping in between. Today’s pick of the day.