I know of three ways to move a mountain.
The first is to attempt some kind of herculean effort, tearing the whole thing off its base and tossing it aside. This is my usual approach, and it has never worked, not once. As a bonus, I end up feeling discouraged about my ability to accomplish anything, even though succeeding was impossible from the start.
Another, more practical way is with a shovel—showing up every day, day after day, chipping away at the problem one shovelful at a time. The difficulty with this approach is that it’s still easy to get discouraged. Comparing even your hardest day’s work to what remains to be done can make us feel like we haven’t really done anything.
The secret to this method is looking at the shovelfuls, not the mountain. Showing up consistently and getting to work. Yes, the results of a single day of shoveling might not be anything to write home about, but multiply that day by a week, a month, a year, a decade—a lifetime—and you’ll start to see the results you’re looking for.
The third way—the most important way—is prayer. “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Our God can and will help us move the mountains in our lives—but He isn’t always going to do the hard work for us, apart from us.
Sometimes, when we ask God to help us move a mountain, He’s going to hand us a shovel.
Until next time,
(An addendum: Some days for a variety of reasons, we’re not going to shovel as much—or at all. We can bemoan the wasted opportunity and question whether it’s worth continuing, or we can come back tomorrow and keep digging. Only one of those options has any impact on the mountain.)