Easter: The Big Event, and then—what?

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

SunriseNow what?

Remember the feeling of December 26th? The big buildup, the anticipation, and the excitement of The Big Event, and then—what?

Disappointment? Disillusionment? What do you do when the day after the big day is just like any other day?

Easter always feels like that for me. The full parking lot and the overflow crowd at church, the incredible music, a special sunrise experience, a wonderful meal.

Christos Anesti (Christ is risen!)

Alithos Anesti (He is risen indeed!)

And then suddenly it’s Monday, and the traffic’s congested and my friend’s grandpa dies and my talk for next week isn’t coming together. Nothing’s changed.

Now what?

It’s so easy to get excited by the “mountaintop experiences” that transport me to another world.

An inspiring retreat, a special vacation, a holiday—I want to think that I’ll carry that special feeling back to the real world. When I’m up there it’s so easy to feel God’s presence.

But then Monday arrives and I quickly fall back to the same routines. It’s hard to even recall the feeling of the mountaintop. Why couldn’t I stay there forever?

In Colorado we’re blessed with many literal and virtual mountaintop experiences. And I always notice that the view from the top is thrilling, but nothing lives there. No plants, no animals—it’s barren and desolate.

An occasional visit to the mountaintop inspires, but real life happens in the valley.

God doesn’t live on an isolated peak or a quiet church on Sunday morning. He’s present in the everyday details, the traffic and frustration that conspire to conceal Him and the noise that obscures His voice.

The challenge isn’t to escape in order to encounter Him. The real challenge is to see Him everywhere, to remember that He lives in my heart even, or perhaps especially, when circumstance draws my focus to other things.

Jesus left the glory of the mountaintop and walked in the confusion of the valley. He entered the day-to-day tangle of relationships and fear and sorrow. I don’t need a special place or The Big Event to encounter Him, because He wants to walk with me right where I am.

My challenge is to invite Him in and let Him be a partner in whatever I’m doing.

I guess that’s what’s next for me. How about you?

Step over each pebble as you encounter it and you will find that you’ve crossed the mountain.

Note: You may also want to read The Day After Easter