The title of this column was also the title of a poem I wrote when I graduated from Central High School, located in a farming area near Goldsboro, North Carolina. Back in the 1960s, all grades, from one through 12, attended the school, even though it was called a high school. In the eighth-grade year, we would graduate with a ceremony, then go to the high school section.
The year I graduated — 1964 — my entire family had relocated the family to Washington, D.C., due to the Great Migration. Farmers were leaving the South because of the advent of tobacco harvesters and other equipment which eliminated the need for Black people to work in the fields. The work had dried up, so blacks were leaving the South in droves, heading north to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Pennsylvania, New York and Boston, and many other locations all along the way.
Today, I realize how that poem title alone has influenced my life. Having been born into a Christian family, with preacher parents, a father who was a pastor, I realize through a young life being brought up in church that this Scripture is true. It says in Psalm 24:3-4, “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”
We all know, none are perfect. Scripture says that, too — that’s why the word of God is good news. No matter where in the Bible you read, you always read it in view of the whole of scripture. The good news being that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed our hands and given us pure hearts. It’s Jesus that has made a way for us to “stand in his holy place.”
Climbing high for a broader view is true for your life down here on earth, where man has rules which govern our lives. When you climb high, and follow biblical principles, you will surely reach your destination, unless you were headed somewhere you did not belong.
Receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior makes you a climber, someone who is willing to scale the highest heights and suffer through some falls on their way to the summit of the Lord. There is only one other option for someone who doesn’t want to climb; valley dwelling.
Brothers and sisters, if you have come to the mountain of the Lord looking to escape the problems in life, just know this: The climb of a lifetime is more than just a way out, it’s a way in. Faith in the creator is not a quick fix for what ails you in life.
The first thing you’ll notice on your climb will be other mountain climbers. You will find some of the best people you will ever meet, many of whom will become your lifelong friends, you help them and they will help you.
There are millions on this same journey, from all walks of life. They’ve started out at differing seasons of life — some young, old, successful, destitute, imprisoned, etc. Some have just started climbing, some have been climbing for a while. However, one thing they all have in common is their aptitude for altitude. They want to come to know and grow in Jesus Christ, they no longer want to dwell in the valley, and they are committed to Christ.
They have left the pretenders behind, they are no longer a slave to the flesh, and they are obedient to Christ. Make no mistake —these people are not climbing because they know they are imperfect. They are going to slip and fall and at times look very much like the “valley dweller” they used to be. What keeps us going is that inherently we know we are different in many ways from those who are content in the valley.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.