Do you know the name of the world’s tallest mountain? “Mt. Everest!” (No brainer, right?) But, what if you measure from the base of the mountain? In that case, Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii wins, at a whopping 10,203 meters vs. Mt. Everest at 8,850 meters.22 years ago, Alan and I went to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary and did get to visit Mauna Loa (although this picture was taken on Mt. Haleakala), but this time, Alan was attending Mayo Clinic’s medical update in Maui, so we only saw Mauna Loa from the air… and off in the distance as we gazed above the majesty of Maui’s Mt. Haleakala, which—by the way—is also 205 m. taller than Mt. Everest from its base, and a whole lot easier to access than Mt. Everest! (Notice that the rocks, shrubs, clouds, and even my honey have hardly changed in 22 years?!) 🙂 Sorry for the long intro. I got sidetracked. What I really want to say is that Mt. Haleakala is considered Maui’s top site, and if you ever get the chance to visitMaui, please start at the top by visiting Mt. Haleakala, because the views from the summit are just out of this world! (Parts of Star Wars were filmed here for this reason!) However, what occurred to me is that you can’t really start at the top (in any of life’s pinnacle adventures), you have to “get to” the top, and that takes a lot of faith over sight. For instance, it was a balmy 82° when we had lunch in Lahaina, and this is the view that greeted us as we headed toward the mountain. 😦 It’s tempting to consider turning back when things look so lovely behind you and so formidable in front of you. We hoped it would be clear at the summit, but we knew we’d have to go through clouds of mist and possibly endure some stormy weather if we wanted to get to the top, so up we went! After miles of uphill twists and turns through the clouds thinking we must be almost to the top, we finally arrived at the entrance to the park. You mean we’re not “there” already? Nope, just to the starting point of the park! Although we were still enshrouded by mists, at least the sun started to break through at this point, and we thought there might be hope of some better weather ahead.Indeed there was! By 9,000 feet, you start trying to imagine how God sees the world! The only trick is, at this elevation, there are no guard rails and precious few road shoulders, so if you lose your focus for a minute, you can also lose your life. Well, we finally made it to the end of the road and climbed the trail to the very top. (If you take your warmest winter coat and sun screen, you’ll be rewarded! Between the altitude and wind chill, you’ll get sunburned in the freezing cold!) The very top is nothing but a pile of rocks, and I think—just as at the top of all life’s quests—people will be disappointed at what they find at the top unless they’re willing to look past what man is doing to see what God is doing, because, what God is doing is always something wonderful!
“And this one hath called unto that, and hath said: `Holy, Holy, Holy, [is] Jehovah of Hosts, The fulness of all the earth is His glory’.” (Isaiah 6:3, YLT)
(The first 2 pictures, of Mt. Everest and the Mauna Loa Observatory, are from Wikipedia. The rest are mine.)