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She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes.
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes.
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain, she’ll be coming ’round the mountain,
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes.

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes . . . Oh, HELLO! I was so engrossed in my singing, I didn’t realize you were here.

Do you remember this song? All my friends sang it when we were kids–for no particular reason except that it was easy to remember and had a catchy tune. It was one of the songs I’d sing when I was serenading the neighbors from the back yard swing (along with How Much is that Doggie in the Window). Today, years after I was a swinging singer (or singing swinger?), this little ditty popped into my head.

Recently I heard Joyce Meyer say that she hoped another year would not find people circling the same mountain with nothing changed except for a deeper rut. My mind immediately envisioned a tired traveler circling around and around the same mountainous problems. Not only would that create a deep rut, but what about the discouragement being rooted in the person’s soul?

We all have mountains in our lives. Some bear the faces of people we interact with regularly—picture Mount Rushmore with the faces of people that cause you the most stress. Maybe they are hurtful, gossipy, foul-mouthed, selfish or untrustworthy. Or maybe they are just irritatingly negative. But, for whatever reason, you haven’t been able to rise above your emotions and respond to them with consistency (don’t you hate that word?) in the best Jesus-approved way.

I’ve circled a mountain for a while, and my feet are beginning to hurt. I clearly recall the other mountainous challenges I have overcome as I learned to trust God and respond to people and circumstances according to His Word, but this mountain is stubborn. It also happens to be blocking my view—you know, the picture postcard kind that includes deeply rooted trees with leaves sparkling in the sunlight, babbling brooks, cascading waterfalls, winding roads edged with split-rail fencing . . . ahhhhh. (Wait—did I just describe the Blue Ridge Parkway?)

Do you want to live in the midst of singing birds, watching them flutter from tree to lovely tree, instead of sitting in the dirt massaging your tired feet in preparation for another cycle around a mountain? I know I do. The Israelites took 40 YEARS to make what should have been an 11-day trip from captivity to the Promised Land. I think we should learn from their mistakes.

Alone we cannot rise above life’s mountains. But we don’t have to.

Isaiah 40:28-31