Mandate of the mountains

"They are being forced to violate the big echo, the mandate, of the mountains: be big and live big, dramatic lives...I'm all for the small things. They stir my intellect with their intricate, almost incomprehensible beauties and complexities. But I am for the big things, too, the sight of which bypasses the intellect and shoots wild-juice and adrenaline straight into our hearts."
- Rick Bass, The Book of Yaak

Be big and live big, dramatic lives. I'm in a continuous struggle with this particular strand of thought; an angel I wrestle with daily. I deeply desire to live a big, dramatic life; however, some voice in my head keeps whispering, "Don't stand out or draw attention to yourself. Let the attention be drawn to God. He must increase and you must decrease." You can see how screwed up my mind is - or maybe you agree with those thoughts. But I've been fighting them for a long time. Because I like characters, big dramatic characters; and I want to be one. And I believe you can be big and be Christian or be dramatic and be godly or be full of wild-juice and adrenaline and also be full of grace. The quiet, aw-shucks, blend in at all costs life is one I cannot live. Why is the overriding message in the church a plea to live small lives? To take our humanity, with all its richness and variety, and whittle it all down to some humble-bumble-pie that wouldn't stir a cup of coffee, much less the heart of God? Where did that come from? The Puritans? Our own uncomfortableness with living in our own skin? I don't know. I'll continue to wrestle with this angel, this big, dramatic angel. But I echo Bass' invitation - Be big, be bold, be beautiful, be wild and scary and hairy. Don't tell somebody, "I'm going to be big." Just be big. And let the chips fall where they may or the fit hit the shan or whatever.


  1. Your blog is really inspiring- I am glad my curiosity got the best of me......

  2. Pounce1:01 AM

    "I think you'd sooner hold back the tide than tame the mountains." - Jim Craig