Imagine this: you have been walking for close to an hour. Not just walking but hiking in the high mountain desert at the heat of the day in the middle of summer. You have climbed several feet in elevation. This was not a planned destination but one decided after you had already begun your walk. You have one bottle of water with you that is already getting warm. One vista has already afforded you a view of your town and a chance to rest and ponder. You follow a different path to begin your descent than the one you followed for the ascent. Along the path you encounter a fork in the road. To the left the path goes back down the hill. To the right there is another hill. What do you do?
o Do you take the hill because it’s there and that’s just what you do with hills. What’s one more hill?
o Take the hill because you have come this far already, what’s one more? Besides the view will be even better from the vantage point at the top.
o Be content with the view you have already seen and quietly continue to the left.
I took this photo during my Fourth of July walk. When I started on my walk I wasn’t sure where I’d end up and my feet carried me to the hills outside of town. Perhaps due to the heat, I struggled a bit getting as far up as I did. I had to rest and consumed most of my water so when I came to that last hill, despite it’s small appearance, I chose to not climb it. There was a small wave of disappointment that was replaced with self-assurance that I was being wise.
As I continued on my walk though, I thought of how defining those hills are for each of us. There are those who continually climb any hill that is placed before them because they can or they feel impelled to do so. They are the people always looking for the best vantage point in life and keep on the lookout for the “perfect vista.” We might mistakenly call them young but that is not always the case. Youth does play a factor in that search but there are plenty of mature people still searching for the optimal view.
Then there are those who are content with the current view and appreciate it. They don’t need to climb any higher hills or mountains. This type of folk recognize the blessing their current vista offers and feel no need to seek another viewpoint. We might mistakenly call them older but, again, that is not always the case. Some people arrive at this contentment early in life.
There is no right or wrong to this, it’s just how it is. Some people seek out new vistas while others are content with their current lot. Some people start out as seekers and then somewhere along the way become contenters. It also can work the opposite way. Are you currently a seeker of new scenes and views? Or are you currently content with the vista?