Turn the Cursed Mountain into a Mountain of Blessing

When we signed up for 12 weeks of language school, my wife added a fitness class for me (because I’m…not yet thin) and the kids. We thought it’d be playing games, learning sports, and a little kid-friendly "working out."

Our first day almost killed me. Granted I’m transitioning from a pretty sedentary lifestyle to one that is much more active, but it was tough. There was a little sliver on my cap that wasn’t drenched in sweat by the time we were done.

See, our fitness instructor Tony is a professional bodybuilder who has transformed his mountainside home into something he calls "Fitness Rustico" (just take off the "o" for the translation). He could call it Mountain Crossfit.

He has a small futbol field, a climbing wall, a number of exercise stations, and trails that go up and down the steep slopes of the mountain.

For example, the other day the circuit we did was to jog 100 feet over to the steep, gravel driveway, jog down it another 100 feet, turn in and touch the big stone, climb up the grass steps to where you started, and do 5 pull ups. Then repeat.

On my second time through, as I was carefully going down the driveway, my first thought was "this cursed mountain!" Followed instantly with a revelation: "Tony took what is an almost unlivable mountain and made it into a tool of blessing that is helping me lose weight and get in the best shape of my adult life!" (I’m actually already down 10 pounds and my clothes are starting to fit differently!)

And many other people have been helped by his efforts.
But his vision for this place is inspiring. There are even weight benches placed strategically on platforms that overlook the valley below and mountains in the distance. It’s stunning. (see below)

I know that we each have "mountains" in our ministry that either seem insurmountable or cursed. But what could they become? What revelation might the LORD give us of how to transform them into a benefit for others?

Maybe your mountain is that you don’t have enough team members? Could you invite others to join you that would be blessed by being a part of a tight-knit team? Or could you use the season of "smallness" to grow deep rather than focusing on getting bigger?

Maybe your mountain is that you have too many singers. Could you use this to train and develop them into worship leaders so that instead of just having 4 vocalists and a leader, you have 3 leaders and 2 vocalists? Could you assign 2 singers to serve as "section leaders" by sitting with the congregation?

Maybe your mountain is having too much on your plate. Could you think about each area of ministry that you’re overseeing and pray for the LORD to show you who to ask to lead that area?

Here’s what you could do:

  1. Think of the biggest, most frustrating/draining situation you have in worship leading.
  2. Prayerfully begin pondering how God might want to turn it into something of blessing.
  3. Take a single step of faith toward that.

Here's a final encouragement. The other day we were doing a circuit that involved running up a steep path for 15 seconds at a time. We had just completed it and as I was about to gasp for air, I looked to my left. The beauty of the view instantly settled me. I literally went from a heaving chest to still.

I can't even explain what a drastic change it was. I felt like the learning for me was that in a hard moment, I can either let myself be winded as I expect myself to be, OR look for beauty in the moment and experience rest.

So even as you face the mountain, look for beauty, for God at work.

I’m excited to hear from you what it was and how the LORD reframed your mountain. It’s almost like a practical "tell this mountain to move" exercise. :O