by Karen Ball
Our valley is watched over by two majestic sentries: Upper Table Rock and Lower Table Rock. A number of years ago a friend of mine and I hiked the trail to the top of Lower Table Rock. We both suffer from asthma, and it’s not an easy hike, so we feared they might find us collapsed halfway up! But we made it, and when we reached the top…well, you just don’t see views like that often enough.
I grew up in this valley, and know it front and back and sideways. But seeing it from that vantage point–it was as though I’d never seen it before. The view of the mountains all around, the sun shining through the clouds, the patterns and textures of the landscape, it all worked together to create a stunning panorama that is the Rogue Valley.
What’s more, these two plateaus stand so straight and tall that I can see them from almost anywhere in the valley. And when I see them, it’s a reminder that I am, indeed, back home in Oregon.
That’s what Mountaintop Focus does for us in our careers. It helps us step away from the day-to-day details, the minutiae of our work, and take a long look at the whole picture. It helps us to see our work, our careers, as a total picture, to remember why we jumped into this miry pond to begin with, and we’re trying to accomplish not just for ourselves, but for the One who drew us into writing. It also helps us to see farther than today. To look out over the landscape that is writing and publishing, and consider our dreams and goals. And, when we’re not on the mountaintop, they can remind us of those overarching goals and missions we believe God has given us in this work.
Next week I’ll share a list of questions to ask yourself as you consider using Mountaintop Focus for your career. But right now, I want you to ask yourself one Mountaintop Focus question. Because this question has to be answered before we can go on:
What are My Top Priorities in Life?
Now, don’t shake your head at me. Don’t roll your eyes. I want you to sit down and really think on this. Don’t spit out the easy answers. Dig deep. What are the things that truly matter most to you. What would you fight tooth and nail to hold onto? What could you not live without?
As you ponder that, consider this follow-up question:
Do my actions, involvements, and relationships reflect those priorities?
As you feel led, share your thoughts with us. And remember, this is just the first step. Next week, we’ll dig deeper into using Mountaintop Focus.