The view from the top of the mountain.

When I was 15, I went to some kind of camp for Methodist Youth who wanted to become Ministers. Huge gathering in Colorado. Awesome camping along the way there from New Jersey.

One day, our activity was to climb a mountain.

When we reached about 3/4 of the way up, I thought, “Hang on a second, I gotta hike back down this thing too!” and so I stopped.

The group went up there to the peak and came back and I rejoined them on the hike back down again.

They all excitedly told me what I missed out on and I listened to all of their stories – many quite exaggerated judging by the arguments that ensued among them as they fought over wanting to be “The One” who told me “What REALLY happened”, and I dealt with the inevitable teasing just fine.

Between all of their stories, gauging fact from hyperbole, I saw the view from the peak just fine through their eyes.

And while they all slept off their exhaustion, I played pinball and pool with four new friends that didn’t go on the hike at all. I told them my story and gave them my summary of what the others had all seen but I hadn’t.

Now, it’s true – I never made it to the top of the mountain.

But four people went up the mountain with me, because I was there to tell the tale, and I brought them to a place I never went to myself, because I listened to those who had been there.

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