Monday, October 17, 2011

"We must take the pass over the mountain!!!"

Huashan Mountain, as the Taoists call it, the "Flower" mountain. This was a life changing experience, even as we drove up to and parked at this place, the Mountain ridge was veiled in mist. To this, we battled with waves of people to get tickets to take on the mountain. It was such a beautiful sight, there is just something mystical and magical about mountains and these were NO exception. It really did not matter what I thought, every moment of my day was filled with J.R.R. Tolkien's legends and stories. This had to be one of the most amazing highlights of my entire life. As you can get a small feeling for in the pictures, this was just what we saw upon arrival, I could just feel the ancient legends and lore of the Celts and Vikings just pouring from my veins as I walked up and prepared to truck to the base of where we would begin the longest, most dangerous day of my life.

It was like something from the gates of paradise, to be honest I could not even imagine what my eyes were seeing when I was there. It was as if the very hand of the Heavens reached down and painted perfection upon the landscape. I did not know at this time, while my jaw was on the floor and my eyes were drinking in the sight, that I would be tested to the very edge of my safe zones, that my very life was in peril and that one false step could be my last.

So I ascended to the cloud veiled heavens, tearing away my earthly failures, forgetting my wounds and my pain. This may have been a Taoist mountain but there was a man seeking the face of God there. I have lived for years in shadow kept darkness, longing for the chance to feel the Son again. Here, thousands of miles from my home and the people I love I found Him again, by no means does that mean I am a good man. On the contrary, it has taken me a journey across the world, into the mountains, and into the jaws of some of my deepest fears for me to realize how broken and poor I am. The red cloth you see represented on the chains are prayers, hopes, dreams. Things that people bring to the mountain to have fulfilled. Sadly they did not have one that was black so that I could leave a marker for the darkness that I left behind. I left sorrow, fear, hatred, and so many other foul things behind on North Peak that I didnt even realize it until my in depth work now.

The journey down was an even bigger test. If you have ever seen Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. You will know that Sam and Frodo had to climb a horrific looking stairway, so hardcore looking that you would never imagine that it really existed... I am here to tell you that it does and that I climbed it. When you go down a stairway like that with nothing but a chain between you and a 7000 foot drop it changes you, especially when you know that there is no other way but the way you must go. I find it interesting that sometimes there is but one path, the hard way. I think we live our lives like this sometimes, we wish for simplicity, for an easy answer and all that is there is the hard way down. If you wish to ascend to the Heavens then you must be prepared for a perilous return.

It took many hours of walking but every step was worth it. Every moment to reflect, every second to realize that this life is not about me and that I cannot do everything by myself was worth it. I could return home now honestly in my heart but I know that I have more to do here. I think of you, my family and friends often and hope that your journeys lead you to places beautiful but I hope that you do not have to cleanse your mind, heart, and spirit like I. To ascend broken so that hope can be returned, may my return to you be without incident and may the same sun that shines on my face today, come to you tomorrow. Love to you my friends, brothers, and sisters.


  1. This post is absolutely *BEAUTIFUL*!!! I could "feel" much of what you were sharing as I read. I, too, would have wished to leave a black cloth. I have left one... somewhere, though. :) I was also reminded of when Mike Yacconelli talked about his daughter going to Africa, and while there, she re-met God. I think your tales and experiences will end up in a book someday. This truly is a special post! Loved the breathtaking pictures, too. Blessings and prayers...

  2. DUDE I have been there!!!! Flower mountain is awesome. although I was not able to make it to the top, for we did not have enough time. but I remember I made it to the central peak I think. I just remember the thin air made it difficult to climb. your pictures bring back so many memories, so many indeed...