Living on the Plain with the Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

Living on the Plain with the Teachable Spirit

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. –Isaiah 40:4

What is it like to live on the plain?
Is it better than experiencing the highs of living on the mountain or living in the lushness of the valley?

The teachable spirit knows that if you say to the mountain to be thrown into the sea and do not doubt

At Indochine Restaurant in Tacoma, WA on my 55th birthday, June 2014.

At Indochine Restaurant in Tacoma, WA on my 55th birthday, June 2014.

in your heart, it will come to pass (Mark 11:22-24). Following the mountain in my life being obliterated, I could see for miles. Experiencing the effects of either climbing up some difficult winding trail or climbing down into a valley where I could not see the forest for the trees, as the expression goes, is all I had ever known until that point in time.

What happened to my life?

Surfacing out of a deep hole, swimming around for awhile, and attempting to orient myself to life without the mountain, I was uncertain what to do next. In the footprint of the mountain now existed a huge lake abounding with serenity. I thought there would be no emotion in this place of calmness and peace; however, I found myself with emotions I did not know I had, sensitive to things that previously I had never noticed.

It reminded me of the time that I drove my daughter’s car down to Colorado, helped her settle into the community of Ft. Collins, and attend Colorado State University, so that she could get her Master’s degree in Music. Here in the Pacific Northwest where I live, I am not very far from sea level. Colorado is another matter, and I suffered from mood swings, tiredness, dizziness, and other kinds of symptoms that accompany living in the thin air one mile above sea level.

My sister's children spending time with Ty, at Indochine Restaurant on my birthday, June 2014.

My sister’s children spending time with Ty, at Indochine Restaurant on my birthday, June 2014.

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend about this concept of the mountain being made low and the valley being exalted. She was talking about driving on the plains of Canada, where you go for miles without seeing a landmark. Everything looks the same; consequently, you look down at the speedometer and discover how fast you are going! When you look up, it appears as if you are not moving.

Having everything LEVEL in your life is very different than the constant drama and tediousness of mountains and valleys. Emotions are still present, albeit different than before, and you can see where you are going, but it does not appear you are moving very fast until suddenly you have arrived.

Traveling over Mt. Rainier, June 2014. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Traveling over Mt. Rainier, June 2014. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

The greatest disparity in my life is that I can see for miles in every direction: past, present, and future seem to merge together in one grand whole. I understand the significance of events in my life that have changed me for the better, I see where I am now, and I can see where I am going without any obstruction to my view.

Although things are not necessarily easy, they are certainly not difficult. They kind of fall into place, so to speak. Ideas come to me and then I see them happen with no real effort on my part, much like driving on the plain without landmarks.

My birthday wish at the Indochine Restaurant, June 2014.

My birthday wish at the Indochine Restaurant, June 2014.

Suddenly, I arrive.

Simultaneously, everything is crystal clear and visible. The teachable spirit knows that living on a plain changes your perspective. My emotions are largely gratitude and humility mixed with a sense of well being. Although there were certainly some amazing experiences from living in the mountains and the valleys, I am beginning to enjoy the luxury of arriving at my destination without being winded. Existing in the footprint of the mountain is this incredibly deep lake that nourishes my soul so that I never seem to be thirsty.

Visiting Mt. Rainier in June 2014 left to right: me, Natalie, Ty, and Amy. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Visiting Mt. Rainier in June 2014 left to right: me, Natalie, Ty, and Amy. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Accompanying the very next step I take is a profound sense of joy because stumbling over a cliff is no longer a potential hazard. Enjoying the view and the journey are the only required tasks.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

–Luke 3:5

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