it is enough

I met a man on the side of a mountain. We met at a narrow pass where only one could walk at a time – I going up and he, down. Behind him, the dusty trail snaked skyward. We both paused and he looked at me with an expectant smile. Trying to hide my annoyance, I motioned for him to pass first. He simply stood there and smiled again. As I began to move, he spoke.

“To see with the eyes, some they go up and they come tell. Which is better?”
What in the world are you talking about? I thought. Politely: “Excuse me?”
“To hear the story or to see with the eyes? Which is better?”
I smiled broadly and pointed up the mountain. “Oh of course! It’s better to go see for yourself.” Thankful to be on my way and eager to be done with the hike, I turned to continue up the trail. He turned too and over his shoulder said, “For me it is enough.”

Wait …
It is enough? So he hadn’t just come from the top. He had climbed halfway and then decided that the stories were good enough for him. He didn’t need to see the top – didn’t need to look down into the crater of the now extinct volcano, didn’t need to walk the rim, didn’t need to see the view of the Great Rift Valley from the peak. The stories that others brought down – these were enough.

What is that? A triumph of faith? Or a tragedy of human resignation? Without even pausing to consider the options, I assumed that first-hand experience is always preferable. Yet, has not Thomas been condemned for the same assumption? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Why is that true? Those who stay on the plain may have faith that the peak is lovely, but oh what glories they miss! Or is it their glory to listen and believe? And of the one who said “show me!” – what of her?

2 thoughts on “it is enough

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  1. I say go to the top and see for yourself. What of the Israelites who didn’t want to follow Moses up to the mountain to see God, but preferred that Moses go for them because they were afraid? They worshiped an idol.

    I think it’s pretty amazing in that passage of scripture that Jesus didn’t condemn Thomas for not believing and leave him there to doubt, but that He came to Thomas and showed him his hands and side so that he would be relieved from doubt. Jesus helps the doubter. Why does “everyone” always seem to condemn the doubter? Jesus didn’t condemn Thomas, he just said those who REALLY believe even though they have never seen are… WOW… amazing… blessed. I think it’s okay to doubt before God and be like the man who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” It’s no use lying to God and saying, “oh yeah, I believe”, when one doesn’t really believe. It’s best to be honest before God.

    And as far as mountains go, I’m like you, I’ve got to go to the top and see the view. Not going to the top, at this point in my life when I’m somewhat young and haven’t seen everything in the world, is unfathomable to me.

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