I never go that way. I have no idea why I was there. Suddenly I found myself just this side of the tracks and right in front of my mountain.

But it didn't look like much of a mountain now.

It was when I was a child. I can remember my father telling me to never cross the railroad tracks. I did and I got caught...several times.

It was that mountain. It beckoned me. It called my name. It dared me to climb it every time.

I can remember standing there looking up the face of it. I shook. My palms wept in fear of the thought that I would even consider climbing it.

Then one day I did. I got stuck. I froze in place like a deer in headlights. I was afraid to move for I would fall to my death on the jagged rocks below.

The truth? It was a steep embankment and I was afraid of heights.

My friend, climbed up from the other side and reached out for my hand. Guiding me with just the right words, I gained the confidence to move on...slowly.

I remember that day like it happened yesterday.

Today I sat in my car just a few yards from that very same spot. It looked just the same as it did back then. But so much smaller. If I stood next to it, I could probably reach half way up at the steepest point.

"What was I afraid of?" I said out loud.

Then, like so many other sparkling moments of pure enlightenment, it hit me.

I grew up! That simple.

Or was it?

Like a wave hitting me along the shore line, I suddenly saw it all in a different light.

That mountain was big because I saw myself as small.

Then I thought about how many times I have faced other "mountains" in my life and feared them.

At that very moment they seemed impossible to climb. They always seemed so much bigger than I was. Insurmountable!

And yet, here I am. I made it. I made it through, over or around, but I made it.

Yes, I can now realize why they seemed so impossible to deal with.

I saw myself as small. Not so much as a measure of size, but ability. Not so much as a man, but still that child afraid to climb.

Here I am today after all those years and after all those mountains.

It's not that I've grown taller, I've just learned to reach higher.

It's not so much that I've grown up, I've grown wiser.

I have grown to understand the difference between the view from the top and the view from the bottom.

But I've learned that I can enjoy the view from any where as long as I remember God made me and the mountains.

The difference? Mountains remain, I can go on.

Bob Perks

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