Valley taught: The stuff that fuels your ascent

I grew up at the foothills of inspiration. Right outside my front-door loomed Colorado’s majestic Pikes Peak. One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Minnesota was that there were no mountains—lots of gorgeous lakes, but no mountains.

It was disorienting. For as long as I could remember, the mountains meant “west.” Absent of that reference point, I felt lost and confused.

Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them. - Winston Churchill


Metaphorically, goals are our mountains. They inspire a daily, almost subconscious, orientation in our lives. It’s important we have them.

But in the shadow of the mountain, lies the foothills and valleys. This is our day-to-day terrain. It’s where we learn the hard lessons of life—those of disappointment, loss, failure, fear, fatigue and death.

Good things are learned here too. We learn that we are not alone. We have a Guide who takes us through our valley of shadow and death (Psalm 23:4). We learn about perseverance and, its twin discipline, trust. And we learn that the more attentively we follow our Guide through this terrain, the more strength we gain to reach the summit.

What lessons have you learned in the valley?

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