Written by Catherine Sullivan
I slid the door of the van open and stepped out into the predawn darkness. Yawning and stretching, I looked around at the nearly-empty parking lot. I had a hard time believing that what I was about to do would be fun.
On a family vacation to Yosemite National Park in the early 2000’s, my mom insisted that we hike to see the sunrise at Glacier Point. Always a night owl, I vocally resented the 4:30 AM wakeup time, but I also trusted my mom. She’s really good at planning family vacations.
The four of us – my mom, my dad, my sister and myself – trudged along the path, rubbing our eyes. Slowly, the light started to grow around us, illuminating more details beyond the boundaries of the trail. I started to get a tiny bit excited for the promised view, even though I refused to admit that to anyone.
Suddenly, the path opened up into a large lookout area. As we entered the space and moved past the trees, the view literally stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away.
We were standing on the edge of a cliff. An enormous valley opened up below us, and beyond, at eye-level, stood the iconic rock formation named Half Dome, the sun rising in glory behind it. Yet again, my mom was right – it was totally worth it.
On that family vacation, I had a literal mountaintop moment. After a long and early-morning hike, I was rewarded with an unforgettable view. I’ve had mountaintop moments in my spiritual life, too: a retreat where I felt God’s presence deeply and tangibly, a day when I felt peace and joy about finding my vocation, and countless times in between and since when I experienced the consolation of answered prayers.
Just like that hike, these mountain top moments were worth it. Sometimes, it might feel impossible to get away from the many responsibilities of daily life – there just isn’t enough time, or it’s too inconvenient to sign up for a retreat or attend an evening of Adoration. But, in the same way that scheduling a family vacation can strengthen our bonds with our families and renew us for our work in the days ahead, so too can intentionally setting aside time to be with the Lord bear great fruit in our spiritual lives.
As we celebrate the Transfiguration this month, consider scheduling a time to meet the Lord on the mountain. Seek out a mountaintop moment to share with your family members, and then enjoy the good fruit it bears in your home. Our new series Good News for Families offers several easy suggestions for how busy families can do this in the weeks ahead. We hope you will join us!