I actually live in a valley, Shenandoah Valley. However, I can see Virginia's mountains in the distance. Valley dwellers even call some of their businesses “Mountain View” as does my ENT doctor.
I subtitled the third of my faith autobio Trilogy of books Flourishing on my Summit and the final two chapters of my autobiography Czeching My Roots: View from My Summit and Living on My Summit. The reason? I've been writing them from the vantage point of my calendar-challenged but blessed vintage season, my Summit.
What's to enjoy on life's summit when you are thought to be “over the hill”? The final years of life are more often considered depressing valleys because our best days are behind us. We do have a choice. We can wallow in the loss of our yesterdays, bemoan our limitations of the present, fearful of our lack of a future.
Or we can take in the fabulous vista of God's faithfulness and savor the fruit of our life from its orchard. We can choose to “smile at the future” as the worthy woman of Proverbs 31 did. “Give her the fruit of her hands,” the last verse declares. God wants us to enjoy our harvest, to munch on a crunchy Virginia Granny Smith apple--although it was not from an orchard that I cultivated.
Age provides a better perspective although we may physically be viewing our summit through diminished physical eyesight, bifocals or through inter-ocular lenses from cataract surgery. Even if we are visually challenged, we can use the eyes of our heart, the “enlightened eyes of understanding” which Ephesians says we possess as God's children. We can even ask God to give us another mountain as 85 year old Caleb asked Joshua on the verge of their entrance into The Promised Land. Why not?
Each new season not only has its challenges and demands, but its own beauties, opportunities and fulfillments to relish. If God gave us this summit time, it is His generous, loving gift. Robert Browning got it right: “Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be, the last for which the first was made.” Think of many loved ones who were not blessed with longevity and with whom we were not able to grow old. If we're still here, we still have time, even if only one day, to appreciate our remaining relationships. Each new dawn provides us with another fresh slice of life to rejoice in and live for the Lord. Another chance to make the present day, the present moment, the most meaningful yet.
Let's focus our priorities as though our days were soon coming to a close. They are indeed—whether in a few years, one year, a month or a day. As summit Christians, let's guard our precious calendar commitments as seriously as we would against an approaching hoard of locusts who would eat up all our time. Yes, there is a proliferation of doctor appointments and the growing burden of just getting through the mundane routines of life which are consuming greater and greater amounts of our shorter days. Let's invest whatever discretionary time we have left to cultivate a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives—both temporal and everlasting—a glorious, forever and ever summit relationship.