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 then commands him to “be on the mountain.”
To which I imagine Moses was like, “Umm, yeah, I heard you the first time, God. You already said to go to the top of the mountain! And here I am, just like you asked. Now what?”
And God was probably like, “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. No, God didn’t want him preoccupied, standing up there worrying about how he was going to get down, or what bills needed to be paid this week, or whether he turned off the lights before leaving the house this morning.
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 that when we pause for a moment, we are able to appreciate the world that is right in front of us. After all, it takes a lot of hard work 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 done from a place of total awareness.
Don’t dwell on the past.
Don’t worry about the future.
Be on the mountain.