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It's Worth the Climb

Friday, 10 May, 2019 - 12:04 pm

Feel like every day is a challenge? Like you’re clambering up a mountain, only to start from the base tomorrow?

That’s not unusual, because it’s the way we were created.

Every day, we have a mountain, a spiritual Mount Everest, to climb.

Every day, we’re faced with the challenge of scaling our inner selves, reaching to the top of our psycho-spiritual range, lifting ourselves from the base of life’s mountain to reach its peak.

When King David, the Psalmist, asks: “Who will ascend the mountain of G-d?” he is referring to this daily workout. So let’s a take a practical look at this mountain-climbing metaphor, by considering three basic elements we’d need to scale a physical mountain:

1. A clearly defined destination; we’ll need a charted path to know which trail we’re going to follow.

2. We need to be in good shape. It a takes a lot strength to haul oneself up an incline, straining against gravity’s natural pull.

3. We need to be wearing appropriate clothing.

Prayer is a daily exercise in considering life’s journey, so let’s look at our spiritual climb through the lens of Prayer:

1. Everyone needs a vision, a Purpose, in life. Prayer is a time for me to crystallize my purpose and commit myself to a path that will achieve it.

2. We need internal stamina to persevere and overcome self-absorption’s gravitational pull. Self-indulgence is the flip side of a meaningful life. A self-centered day begins with the question “what do I want out of life” A meaning-centered day begins with the question “what does life want out of me?” It takes a lot of guts to scale the barrier of self-interest, and prayer is your workout.

3. Jewish spiritual thought describes the soul as having three "garments:"

A. Thought

B. Speech

C. Action

so we need to clothe our souls appropriately. The way we think, speak and act are the way we interface with the world. And prayer is a time for focus on that interface.

In other words: Prayer is a time for me to ask myself: Does my "clothing" get in the way of my daily climb?

Where does my mind wander? How do I think about my fellow? Do I communicate transparently and sensitively?

These are questions for our daily prayer; accessorizing ourselves for the day's ascent.

Every day, some prayer and introspection will help you make your way – inch by well-earned inch - toward your peak.

And that’s how life becomes meaningful.

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