Lessons From The Mountaintop

DSC_0302The little details are important! This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at a mountaintop country club in North Carolina. We had a great time playing golf and just hanging out. It was the perfect opportunity to laugh, and listen, and learn. An important area of life is often outside the formal settings.

Let me tell you some lessons I learned this weekend:

1) I learned that many times it is what we loath in others that we really know to be true about ourselves. Be cautious to look in the mirror before you shine a light on someone else.

2) Learn to embrace the beauty of the moment. The golf course we played is perhaps the most beautiful I have ever experienced on the planet. Honestly the golf itself was the third most enjoyable thing of the weekend. The place was perfect and the company was perfect. I was blessed beyond words by the time we all spent on the mountain. We had conversations that were meaningful and impactful. Always learn to listen to others and embrace the moments we have with each other.

3) If you don’t keep your eye on the grille you will burn the sausage. All Saturday afternoon we were talking about our plans for dinner. Even though we arrived too late on Friday to stop by the grocery store at the bottom of the mountain it would not deter us from thinking about the wonderful grilling that would be our dinner that night. Our host had made plans to GRILL his signature dish of steaks and Italian sausage. The meats looked great and he know the exact time he was going to fire up the grill. As the sausage was cooking he decided he could do one additional thing before he took the meat off the grill. In that slight moment of distraction, the fat from the sausage dripped and flared the flame and you know what happened? The sausage burnt. I can tell you he has not heard the last of that yet!

It reminded me that sometimes we loose focus for a moment and the consequences are instant and noticed. What have you lost sight of this summer? Talking to many of you each week makes me realize that we have taken our eyes off the goals. Maybe you have lost your joy or your passion or your connection which has resulted in our being less grateful, less generous, and less gracious than we should have been. The consequence is that we have fallen back into the ditch of thinking that we are still in control. We are not. Remember, the words of today’s Proverbs 19:20-21 “Get all the advice and instruction you can so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

4) Gratitude is the key to life. Once we learn to live from a position of gratitude we will see the truth about ourselves, we will embrace the moment, and we will keep our eyes fixed on what really matters in life. It’s time to get back in the trenches and see each trench as a gift from God. Hebrews 12:1-2 says in part “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”