As I ride in the passenger seat on long, winding, constantly ascending & descending roads, I feel revived. I am so accustomed to the flat roads and direct routes of South Florida that these country roads feel alien. The more I admire and absorb the changes in the landscape through a humble car window, the more I’m reminded how natural the hills truly are.
Even the ‘highways’ throughout the Virginia landscape preserve the natural shape of the land by curving with the mountains rather than cutting straight through them. The land guides my altitude inch by inch. Only by removing myself from my normal atmosphere do I realize just how much flat roads flat-line my soul.
As each hill makes me feel more and more alive, I see a deeper parallel from simple asphalt roads to the complicated emotional roads of life.
It is so dangerously easy to fall into regularity; a standard routine or comfort zone. We don’t realize how numb we’ve become until a change in altitude awakens us. Whether it’s schooling, career, friendships, relationships, or emotional challenges, we need trials and changes, ascending and descending, to keep us alive.
In order to feel the high points of joy & excitement you have to feel the low points of sadness, frustration, & fear. Without these mountains & valleys we end up driving our lives on straight emotional roads and missing out on beautiful depths the landscape naturally provides.
Sometimes this requires the bravery of making a change, other times it is accepting a battle of emotions. Either way, we cannot remain numb.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
Part of life is pain. Without the lows of pain we cannot taste the sweetness of joy. If we lived on joy alone it would become normal and thus, mundane. In order to taste joy we must endure the sadness. Know that feeling is natural, no matter how difficult.
Weep if you must. Do not remain on the flat roads, let your heart climb.