CONFLICT LENDS VALUE TO THAT WHICH WE ATTAIN
“Years ago I was hiking in the Andes Mountains of Peru. I needed to lose some weight so I created an inciting incident to take a four day trek that involved climbing over a fourteen-thousand foot mountain pass. I trained for months and lost twenty pounds preparing. Still , the hike was brutal. I turns out the going up wasn’t the problem, it was the coming down. To this day, I’ve never been in more pain. We were dehydrated from the trek and on the second to last day had to descend nine miles down stone steps, many of which were two and three feet tall. We began the day’s hike before sunrise and ended it by flashlight. By the time we made camp, I walked into the shower without removing my clothes. I was too tired to undress.
Our trek followed the sacred trail and ended at the lost city of Machu Picchu. I’ll never forget the first day of the climb, though, when our guide, Carlos, took us to the edge of a plateau to show us a diverging path. We were only a few miles in and eager and feeling pretty good when they told us there was another path, a path that followed the river and if we wanted, we could take it all the way to the lost city. We’d be there in only six hours, Carlos told us, and the trail was flat and cooled by the river.
But seniors y senoritas, he said, we will not take this path. Instead, we will arrive at the lost city four days from now, and we will climb into those mountains. Carlos turned and pointed toward the snow capped Andes, many of them towering over twenty-one thousand feet, nearly seven thousand feet taller than any mountain in Colorado and only five thousand feet shorter than Everest.
The Inca, Carlos said, would only let commercial goods come into the city by the easier trail. Everybody on a spiritual pilgrimage had to pass through the mountains. Do you know why they demanded spiritual pilgrims pass through the mountains? Carlos asked.
Because they wanted people to appreciate the city when they got there, he said. And the pain of this trek will bring out the beauty of the lost city.
It’s true what Carlos said. We spent four days in those mountains and when we got to the lost city, I could swear it was more beautiful to us than to those who’d come by bus. It is, to this day, one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen. And I’m convinced it had more to do with the pain of the journey than the steep green hills or the remnants of a lost civilization enshrined amongst the clouds.
Some o our ambitions will be difficult, but be thankful for the challenges. They may hurt in the moment but when we look back, the pain will add meaning to the story and joy to the celebratory ending.
Have you ever wondered why men and women are so different, why they find it so hard to communicate? Perhaps the reason is God actually embeds conflict into that which he wants us to fight for.”
-Donald Miller, Storyline
- valleys will be filled
- mountains and hills made level
- curves will be straightened
- rough places made smooth
- captives will be released
- the blind will see
- the oppressed will be set free