Well, I made it. We navigated the many details that all parents face when planning a wedding, I walked my daughter down the aisle, and then, a week later, we said goodbye to her and our new son-in-law as they moved across the country to Portland, Oregon. Wow, what a couple of weeks!
Their new home offers vistas that we in Florida just don’t get to see in our local area – MOUNTAINS! In fact, Angela can look down the street from their new home and see the mountains rising in the distance. Mount Hood, a volcanic monster of a mountain, gives the entire Portland area a distinctive iconic skyline.
Mountains are amazing to me. My first ever trip to the Rockies was a breathtaking experience. Cindy and I had lunch one day in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and I will never forget how I felt as I sat on a park bench and ate a sandwich with truly “purple mountains” rising up in front of me. Singing “America the Beautiful” would never be the same for me!
But while literal mountains are indeed beautiful, difficulties and hardships that seem like mountains are breathtaking too, in a radically different way. A sudden job loss, a tragic diagnosis, or even a sudden accident can loom before us – leaving us with a sense that this problem is a mountain that is not scalable.
My Mom had a saying that she uttered to me during my entire “growing up” years in Indiana. I can remember talking to her while trying my best to grasp difficult concepts in school. She would say with the greatest sincerity, “Son, just remember that what is ‘hard by the yard is a cinch by the inch.” That advice has proven to be so helpful to me.
Like the time Cindy and I lost a child…talk about having your breath taken away. Yet, God’s amazing grace sustained us moment by moment, until we could see that we were going to make it. Using Mom’s analogy, we took the present difficulties an inch at a time. That was all we could handle in the moment…but soon after that moment passed, we could look back and see how far we had come.
If you have mountains before you today, take my Mom’s advice, and then take that first step in faith. You’re going to make it.
Till next time.
~ Mike Gilland
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