With the crowd dispersed, he (Jesus) climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray.
How many times have I read this phrase 'Jesus climbed the mountain to pray" and thought, OK....so he went off alone to pray. Its a good example for us. But I don't think it was an accident that going off alone to pray involved a CLIMB. Have you been to Mt Bonnell lately? Or Enchanted Rock? Climbing a mountain requires effort, determination and hydration! When temperatures rise and life heats up that climb can be even more challenging.
I remember when I was pregnant with our first child, I thought, it's going to be great as a SAHM. I'll have so much time to read and study. (Echos of uncontrollable laughter from the mommy readers) Then I thought OK, so when both of my kiddos go off to school I will have daily opportunities to sit at my ideal quiet time spread: a journal, a handful of pre-sharpened pencils, a great book complete with study guide, at least two versions of the Bible and of course, a cup of coffee. Yum! Now I wonder if this pursuit will ever be less than the climb it seems to be. Some days I am more determined than others.
Thankfully, I'm learning to let go of the ideal. To reach for the glove box Bible when I'm waiting in the van. To say a simple "God I'm listening" when I take the boys to the pool. My boys are older now, and they both read so I've instituted a summer quiet time after lunch for all three of us. It's wonderful.
After a good climb, most of the time I just feel winded. Whew! But every once in a while there's a glimpse of something up there that takes my breath away, and it all seems completely effortless! So I keep climbing....