When an important event is coming up, it looms so huge on the horizon that we cannot see past it. It dominates our vision, like the mountain before us on a hike. Step by step we approach it, excited in anticipation of the peak views and weary of the long trudge. Once at the top we seem to see it all before us; everything is revealed. But not quite.
A week, month, year or so later the mountain has receded--perhaps not even in view. We have moved on to something else and the mountain has shrunk in size--at least in our memories.
Less than two weeks ago, I had an actual physical mountain in front of me. It evoked a dread in my heart by the terribleness of its size. I did not climb all of it, but it is waiting for me to come back and conquer it. Within days I was flying home. Looking down, the mountains made me wonder but not fear. From miles up they had flattened out. They had not changed, but my point of view had.
We encounter numerous mountains in our life. Some seem insurmountable. Others daunting, but hike-able. Still others are just a short-term, body-numbing task to get past. We cannot always tell which is which, and hope that we don't waste too much of our life on the impossible, and not too much on the too easy.
If we could do a fly-by on them, we might gain perspective, but we would also lose the mysterious spiciness of doubt and the grittiness of persistence. Perspective is a good thing, but it can also deceive if it comes without hands-on experience. I respect a mountain before me. I shrug off one below me. Climbing it gives me a perspective that a fly-by never will.