You gotta climb the steep hill in order to enjoy the ride down after!

It's funny how an innocent comment from a child can spark a series of thoughts isn't it?

flowers 26 May 2014 11-34

Today was Bank Holiday Monday in the UK and we passed a pleasant few hours taking a family walk around a nearby reservoir.  Our boys had their scooters with them, I had packed a picnic for us and unbelievably it wasn't raining (boy, have we had a lot of rain and more to come this week!).

Inevitably (for around here anyway) we encountered steeps hills and at this there was much complaining.  Later, we were having dinner together at home and Joseph mentioned that not all of his 'walking experience' went well - ie. especially the steep climbs.

flowers 26 May 2014 11-40

As quick as a flash I said to him, '...but what about the sensation of whizzing down the hill on the return - didn't that feel good?'.  He said it had and I immediately launched into a 'Mum talk' along the lines of 'you can't enjoy the ride down if you don't climb up first'.

flowers church 26 May 2014 13-40

As I was saying all of this, it struck me how true for life in general this is and I started to think about it in terms of my life both currently and in the past.

church 26 May 2014 13-40

What if we could pause?

What if we could take in the scene of our 'upward climb' and maybe even acknowledge the beauty on the way up - no matter how small? 

Let's look at what's around us, right here, right now?  What's there underneath the discomfort?

Let's acknowledge the challenge too - it's NOT EASY but I don't think it's meant to be.  Yes, it's arduous!  Yes, it hurts!  Yes, it's uncomfortable!  Yes, we might hate the climb!  Yes, we'd rather be on the way down but we're just not there yet...  What we resist often persists right? 

But then, just when we think we can't go any further, we reach the summit and look where you've come from - doesn't that fill you with awe, wonder and even gratitude!  Wow, how did I manage that?!  I did it!  Look what I learned along the way?  I needed to avoid those nettles, duck under hanging branches, stop and take little breaks but NOW look!

flowers church 26 May 2014 13-28

So, that's my invitation to you my friend.  Are you climbing up a steep hill or mountain at the moment?  Or maybe there are a series of them and you're weary...  Or, perhaps you're on the way down from a steep climb and not sure what quite happened up there.  No matter, here are two questions for you to reflect upon either by writing in your journal or to paint, draw or collage what comes up for you using imagery in any way you wish:

* What is this steep, steep climb trying to show you - what is the lesson you need to learn in order to get up to the top? 

* Likewise, once you reach the bottom of the hill, how might you be changed?

flowers church 26 May 2014 13-50