I was a camp kid.
As a boy growing up in Texas, my parents were insanely generous to get me out of the drenching sauna summers to temperate Colorado most years. Those weeks at camp were some of the best and most memorable of my childhood.
Everything made sense while I was at camp.
I was surrounded by kids who wanted to follow God, I had counselors who were some of the most passionate Jesus-followers I knew, and I was able to have the most insane outdoor adventures.
And it all happened in a place that was tucked away from reality.
It was practically a dream.
Without a doubt, the most miserable part of camp every year was leaving. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just live at camp and let every day, every week and, really, every moment be amazing.
Have you ever felt like things just made sense in your life? Maybe it was the perfect ministry role you were in. Or the volunteer team that could conquer the world if they were just given enough time.
It could have been a moment when a kid finally saw the Gospel clearly.
Maybe your senior leadership is amazingly supportive of your vision for the children at your church. Or you just had 4 fabulous days in Florida with other awesome kids’ ministry leaders.
Whatever the case, history (and Scripture!) tells us that things won’t always stay the same. And it can be really hard to get used to “normal” life after a big mountaintop in your ministry.
You don’t have to just wait for your next high, though.
Remember that God Created Us for This
It’s easy to forget, but God didn’t create us for a humdrum life. He created us for the Garden.
In the Garden, everything was made perfect. Adam and Eve walked with God. In the Garden, there was purpose, peace, and life.
It stands to reason that Adam and Eve didn’t live from mountaintop to mountaintop, because in the Garden, it couldn’t get any better.
I’ve seen people come to regret mountaintop experiences, and it’s always because of how drastic the divide was between what was incredible and what is disappointing.
God never intended for that gap to exist. Our own sin brought that on.
So if you find yourself wishing that things could be different, realize that God created us for pure mountaintops. Having that perspective can make a big difference and pull you into the reality God created us for.
Here are 3 practical things you can do when you’re readjusting from mountaintop experiences back to normal life.
Telling Your Story Helps You Harness the Beauty of It
Our stories aren’t just for the moments we experience them. They’re also meant to fill us afterward too.
Similar to our testimonies, remembering the good things God has done can give us encouragement and strength when things are more difficult.
In the Old Testament, the people of God were notorious for forgetting every good thing God did for them.
A custom involving stones called “ebenezers” started as a way to help people not forget the great things God had done. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us’” (1 Samuel 7:12).
We don’t have to place physical stones in order to do the same—though it certainly can be helpful to try! Claiming the times that we consider or think about “the good times” can be a great first step.
Your Story Matters
Be intentional to foster a spirit of thankfulness when you catch yourself daydreaming or thinking about what happened.
When you think of a person, pray for that person. If someone made you feel cared for, ask God to do the same for them now. When you remember the miracle you got to see, ask God to continue to bring His Kingdom here to earth.
Be intentional to share your story with others too.
Whether it’s a close friend who hasn’t heard about this yet or someone you’re building a relationship with, giving them insight into something so important for you is a gift.
It helps them bond with you, and it also gives them a chance to glean some of the life that you gained from the experience too.
You don’t know the impact your story may have on your friend’s journey with God.
That’s why we’re reminded “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Sharing your story may even be as impactful to your friend as experiencing if firsthand was for you.
Be Present at All Times
It’s easy to let the fall-off from the “high” of a mountaintop experience take the wind out of our sails spiritually speaking. Staying focused, motivated, and encouraged can feel like a pretty significant uphill battle.
But don’t let the normalcy of life defeat you.
The reality is that God loves to bring surprises throughout our days. So every moment has the potential to be a sacramental gamechanger for our stories or the stories of people around us.
And when we live with an eye toward what is possible, we actually see things more accurately—we see things the way God would have them be. We can start to call out what could be, rather than what is.
In doing that, we work with God in the creative, incredible work of creating mountaintops.
These mountaintops often don’t scale as you would if you were physically climbing one little by little.
It’s perhaps more accurately described as a fountain springing up unrelentingly from the ground of the present you stand on.
It’s one thing to say, “God can do anything.” It’s another to live that truth out.
Intentionality Is Important
Invite the God of the universe into your day and pull others into the goodness you’ve experienced. It’s as simple as being present sometimes.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
This is what we do as followers of Jesus: we spread the hope and life that He’s given to us with the people around us.
Whether it’s sharing our story with them or being present to what their needs are, you have a lot of influence to offer to the stories surrounding you.
So, bring others to mountaintops, and see what God has for both of you when you get there. It may be the next thing your ministry needs to serve and love others better.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: