Tomorrow I fly home. It’s hard to believe that it has been six months since I last saw family and friends, but it has been. I cannot say that I did not give it my all, that I did not pray and invest every part of me into being all here. It was my intention to do so, and, by God’s grace, in many ways I did. There were days when I was tired, days when it was hard to focus, days when I dreamt of being in a thousand other places.
I am reminded that the things I invested in mattered, even during the times when I felt like I didn’t. The students mattered more than they probably realize. My teaching mattered, even if it often seemed like nothing more convoluted attempts. My relationships with co-workers and locals mattered, even in the midst of chaotic transition. The many adventures I found myself on mattered because I often found myself tested, and living, and learning.
Last Saturday I hiked all the way to the top of El Avila. I climbed mountains and challenged myself physically as well as mentally. I’m thankful that I did not do it alone because that eight-hour hike was a reminder of how much I need people.
The hike was worth every step. Sitting at the top, looking out over the city, I was reminded of why mountains act as metaphors. It takes work to get to the top, and the thing that matters most is the fact that there are many mountaintops, but the valleys, the descending and ascending, all of this is what makes the experience.
That hike mattered.
The choice to continue matters.
Above all, the One who created all of the things that matter and whose presence is infused into them matters most of all. I cannot wrap my mind and my heart around all that God is. I can sit on top of a mountain; I can cry sorrow drenched tears; I can laugh until my sides ache; I can follow the Spirit wherever the Father leads, but I cannot completely comprehend all that He is. Yet, He is the most worthy investment. All other things that I invest my mind, body, heart, and spirit in fade like the moon without the sun’s reflection, without His reflection on the things in my life.