I'd Like Off This Ride Please!Yesterday I wrote about "mountaintop syndrome." True, I'm not a doctor. And sure, mountaintop syndrome isn't a real condition. But it might as well be. Many of us have patterns of Christian faith that are so full of high highs and low lows that we're not sure how to walk with Christ in a way that is consistent, meaningful, and rock solid apart from the mountaintop.
As a result, our faith can feel like a rollercoaster ride. Buckle in and get excited—we're heading for a mountaintop experience—and then "whee!" we come crashing down to real life where loving Jesus well during the daily grind can feel like a really low valley. Then back up the hill we climb. We might go through the occasional loop-da-loop where our faith gets all topsy-turvy, and then we are right back into the valley.
Since being a Christian is really more like having a relationship with Jesus than sticking to a set of rules, there are bound to be some ups and downs. But if you only know how to connect with God when you're on top of the "mountain," you'll find it difficult to live out your faith in the valleys that are an inevitable part of life. So, what's the cure for mountaintop syndrome? How can you get off of a rollercoaster faith?
This is going to sound like a Sunday school answer, but here it is: read your Bible every day.
My favorite part about camp has always been that personal quiet times are built into the day. I love looking out at a campus where camp is taking place and seeing students with their Bibles and journals taking time to read God's Word. Even though most camps have great speakers and moving worship and cool breakouts, I think it is the time that students spend in the Word that makes the biggest difference. That's great news! You can't have a speaker in your bedroom each night (that would be weird). I doubt you can afford your own personal worship band, but you can always, always read your Bible. If you schedule the time, just like you do at camp, you'll find it's your ticket to getting off the rollercoaster ride and on the path to steady faith.
Did you know only 16 percent of Christians read their Bible every day? (Head to palm.) When it comes to having a consistent and growing faith, this is public enemy #1. Getting into the Word and getting the Word into you is the most important thing you can do to keep your walk as vibrant as it feels at camp or on the mission field.
We started this year by challenging you to read your Bibles every single day of 2012. Mind if I act as a little string around your finger reminding you to renew that commitment (or to make it for the very first time)?
You can vaccinate yourself against mountaintop syndrome and get off the rollercoaster ride of up-and-down faith. It starts with picking up your Bible today and reading God's Word. Rinse and repeat tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that ...