Three weeks ago I had a few shows in San Diego, CA so I decided to spend some extra time their visiting family, vacationing and re-focusing my purpose and vision. A couple days into the trip I went for a hike up a small mountain in Santee. My goal was to get to a solitary place, be still and let silence quiet the chaos in my mind. The hike started off great. I trekked up a narrow and windy dirt path that weaved back and forth up the mountain. All was well until I started to notice this buzzing sound near my ear. And another.. and another, and.. I looked up and there were about 8 flies pestering around my head. It appears as if they were intoxicated by my hair product. I kept walking, even jogging at times thinking they’d go away, but they were reluctant. I walked with my arms flailing about back and forth by my ears to keep them off of me. If somebody was watching from afar they certainly would have thought that I had lost my mind. A ways up I found a plateau and stood there for a few minutes to soak in the incredible view, but those nagging flies stole the silence I was searching for. So I decided to start the hike back down, mad at the flies for interrupting my peace.
Later that day it hit me. Those flies are like the thoughts that pester me. As I search for peace in life there are circumstances that try to ruin my whole journey. There are times in my life when I have nothing to worry about, millions of things to celebrate, yet two or three nagging thoughts will buzz so loud in my head that they can steal my joy. When I hiked up part of that mountain I was looking for a mountaintop experience, but it didn’t happen. Little did I know it was a precursor for one that was to come.
Later that same week we were driving up to Pasadena but stayed a night in Escondido because my manager Calvin had a singing engagement there. That Sunday morning I decided to stay back at the hotel while he and the band went. I needed some alone time to get my thoughts together and clear my head, this time no hiking and no flies.
I remember sitting in that hotel room with the patio door open. The sun lit up the room with authority, and I started to pray, not knowing where to begin. But a flood of thoughts entered my mind, and one in particular has stuck with me since. It was almost as if my perspective and thought process became elevated above my physical circumstances. I pictured myself on top of a mountain and I was overlooking my entire life. It was as if God was showing me my journey from a blimp cam, you know, like at the Olympics when you see the whole course and the athletes look like ants. Now I couldn’t see the future or the details, but from that perspective the obstacles in front of me were not as monstrous as how they look from on the path in the valley. On top of that mountain we have an eternal spiritual perspective, based on truths that are unchangeable. While the problems in front of us are HUGE and REAL, they’re still only temporary. Most of my life I’ve looked at my situations emotionally, in the valley, and I’ve even made obstacles bigger than they really are.
“Stop making mountains out of mole hills, when they’re not even real. You need to go and follow your dreams, it’s not as hard as it seems.” PJ Morton (one of my favorite recording artists)
Faith is positioning our vision, perception and beliefs on top of the mountain of God’s eternal promises.
The beauty of it is that we don’t have to have a mountaintop experience to have the mountaintop perspective. We can have it anywhere, anytime, by clinging to what God says as truth, because what God says is true everywhere and all the time! I know our emotions can be like pestering flies and believing despite them can almost seem impossible. Believe me, I am naturally one of the most skeptical, cynical and emotionally-driven individuals you could ever meet, I’m an artist But I’ve tasted and I’ve seen the changing power of Jesus through the cleansing of His Word.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
But keep in mind that faith in God is trusting in Him, and we can’t TRUST someone we don’t KNOW. We can’t conjure up faith by our own strength, but we can surrender to Jesus and know Him more every day. His strength remains the same despite our weaknesses.
“Travellers at the top of the Alps can see showers fall under them, but not one drop falls on them.” George Swinnock (English Puritan, 1627-1673)