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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Be on the Mountain

Our friend, Rob Bell, tells a story in which God tells Moses to climb to the top of a mountain. Moses obliges, but when he finally reaches the summit, God commands him, “Be on the mountain.”

I imagine Moses responded, “I heard you the first time: ‘Go to the top of the mountain’! Here I am, just as you asked. Now what?”

And God likely responded, “Just be on the mountain”—in a stoic, but slightly annoyed, tone.

Then Moses, puzzled by the seeming redundancy of God’s request, might’ve furrowed his brow and scratched his noggin because he didn’t understand that God didn’t want him to just travel to the peak and then immediately contemplate his next move. God didn’t want him preoccupied, standing up there worrying about how he was going to get down, or what bills must be paid, or whether he turned off the lights before leaving the house.

God wanted Moses to be on the mountain: to enjoy the moment. Which is impossible when we’re stuck in a state of perpetual planning. Or perpetual worry. Or perpetual whatever.

I’m not particularly religious, but I appreciate this parable because it reminds me when we pause for a moment, we can appreciate the present: it takes a tremendous effort to reach the peak—we should enjoy it, even if only for a moment.

If we want to enjoy life, we must commit to being on the mountain. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan—but let’s enjoy the planning process more. And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work hard, either—but we can enjoy the work when it is executed from a place of total awareness.

Don’t dwell on the past.
Don’t worry about the future.
Be on the mountain.
Just. Be.