As the bright sun rose slowly over the vast mountain range, the young man was awakened by the spray of the cool saltwater against his face as powerful waves smashed along the rocky shoreline. Anthony jumped up confused and disoriented not understanding the circumstances that brought about a drastic change in his life. His head moved rapidly from side to side and his heart raced at such a rapid pace, he had trouble to catch his breath. He gasped with enough air to say, “How can this be that I am on the opposite side of the mountain.”

You see, Anthony lived on an island that was surrounded on three sides by a vast, steep and rocky mountain range.  The north shore opened to a calm and gentle sea but the east, west and south edges of the island rose up thousands of feet above the floor of a dangerously turbulent ocean. With one exception only, on the south side there was a stretch of beach and land formed from the consistent pounding and erosion resulting from powerful waves crashing against the side of the mountain for hundreds of years.  While the ocean was off limits due to the huge waves and strong rip tide, there was just enough land based resources on the open strip to sustain life for several months.

Nevertheless, the issue that overwhelmed his thoughts was the question, “How can this be that I am on the opposite side of the mountain.”   Minutes seemed to turn into hours as Anthony sat on the sandy shore pondering his fate under the sweltering heat of the blazing summer sun. Beads of sweat mixed with streams of tears fell down his dejected face. After a restless and uncomfortable night, he rose with a small degree of optimism that things would somehow work out. He spent the next few days canvasing his limited surroundings for food and water. Afterwards, he twisted coconut palms to form a makeshift hut.   The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. Anthony was alone and left to wonder if his rescue was still a possibility.

Often times, as he sat under the star filled sky while listening to the waves pounding in rhythm, he would reflect on the wonderful experience of visiting his grandfather.  Papa as he would call him, lived in a small house at the base of the mountain. He was a thin elderly man that always appeared to be consumed in deep thought as he worked around the house and tended to his small farm. It did not take long for Anthony to notice Papa’s strange behavior. Several times during the day, Papa would say, “Move Mountain, Move”, jump up slightly, twist and shuffle his feet as if dancing to the rhythm of a lively Caribbean beat. The movement would only last for a few seconds and he would continue his chores as if nothing happened. The more he observed his grandfather, the more he laughed and shook his head. He was convinced that Papa was a little crazy. Papa didn’t seem to mind his grandson laughing, as it was a habit that he practiced daily for many years. 

Occasionally during moments of despair, Anthony would find the energy to crack a smile as he thought of Papa, his favorite saying, “Move Mountain, Move” and that funny dance. However, each day produced the same results, his efforts to scale the mountain ended in defeat time after time. He entertained thoughts of digging a tunnel from the small strip of land with the hope of someday reaching home on the opposite side of the mountain range. Nevertheless, with every new thought and every new attempt, he was confronted with failure. After months of surviving unimaginable conditions, his supply of water and food was running out. The mountain stopped him from moving forward and the sea stopped him from moving backward.

Before his untimely change of fate, Anthony was full of confidence and focused on succeeding in life. His future seemed bright. He had the potential to do great things in his small island community. Over time, memories of his past and the thoughts of a possible short circuited future caused great anger. He became angry with the circumstances, loneliness and his misfortune. Most of all, he was angry about the biggest stumbling block of all, the mountain.  Ironically, as his anger increased so did his faith in the power to change his situation. After several months of rationing the dwindling resources, he concluded and repeated continuously that, “Enough is Enough!” One day, he picked up a small rock and shouted from the depths of his malnourished and weak body, “Move Mountain, Move”, as he threw it against the side of the mountain. But, nothing meaningful happened for him. Or did something happen? Yes, something happened on the inside of Anthony.

Again, he reflected on Papa but this time he remembered the rumor that circulated throughout the small community about his grandfather’s crazy habit. Many of the older people would say that Papa was actually speaking from experience and his movement was a symbolic victory dance. On reflection, this was the moment when Anthony became increasingly convinced that Papa knew something about being on the opposite side of the mountain. Even in his dreams, Anthony could hear the voice of his grandfather saying with an authoritative tone, “Son, speak to the mountain with the roar of a mighty lion, and don’t you back down, you hear me.”

At the break of dawn, Anthony woke up determined to experience a positive change concerning his circumstances. He fixed his mouth and roared sternly from the depths of his skinny body, “Move Mountain, Move”, but nothing happened. Again, he yelled, “Move Mountain, Move”, but nothing happened. However, the perceived failure did nothing to sway his confidence. As he settled down and fell asleep from another mentally exhausting day, he was awakened by the thunderous sound of an earthquake rattling the core of the mighty and formidable mountain. The powerful earthquake cut a pathway down the mountain that happened to open on the opposite side right behind Papa’s house. With the refreshing morning sun appearing over the horizon, Anthony ran as fast as he could through the deep rocky crevice. When he reached the other side, he met Papa there rejoicing and shouting, “Move Mountain, Move” followed by his unique dance.  

You see, Papa had a dream many years ago that his grandson would find himself on the opposite side of the mountain. Papa also knew that his grandson would be delivered but he needed the faith to believe in the impossible. Papa’s dance was a symbolic gesture representing a victorious future outcome but his statement, “Move Mountain, Move” was a seed that he planted in the mind of his grandson on each visit to his house. With one arm resting on the firm shoulder of his faithful Papa, Anthony looked at the mighty mountain again and shouted victoriously, “Move Mountain, Move.”                   

Mountains appear in everyone’s life. Mountains are circumstances and situations that are major issues that hinder your advancement in life. Sometimes people are mountains in your life. They seek to hold you down, stop your success, limit your potential and treat you unfairly without just cause. In addition, it is important to be mindful that economic conditions, cultural traditions and social influences are troubling sources of mountains in your life, as well.   

This parable holds three hidden truths that are powerful enough to shake the foundation of the mountains in your life. Anthony represents you and I. Life presented a major obstacle. He had only two options. His options were conquer the situation or be conquered by it. Win or lose. Be victorious or become a victim. He chose wisely to be a conqueror, to win and to be victorious. How did he succeed against the overwhelming odds?

The first truth in the message is the power associated with hearing words, particularly the Word of God. Jesus established a Heavenly Kingdom that operates in parallel with your national government. His Kingdom provides resources, remedies and solutions to address our daily issues, just as a government is supposed to do. However, in His Kingdom the authority is given to you to make a positive difference and to initiate change in your circumstances. Matthew 11:23 say , "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”  It is important to note that you and I must speak to the mountains in our lives when we pray.

The second truth brought out in the story is the necessity of believing that what we speak will truly happen according to the Will of God. Do you have the faith to believe that God wants the mountain to be removed from your life so that you may prosper and be in good health? Yes, He does. So the second point is to believe without doubting the Word of God and the power of God that we possess through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Romans 10:7 says, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. The young man in the parable heard the message, “Move Mountain, Move” over and over again. Hearing the message repeatedly increased his faith to believe in what appeared impossible when looking through the natural eye.

The last and most important point is to accept the position that God wants us to have a successful and victorious life. John 10:10 says, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”   The question arises whether or not abundant life is designated for a select and privileged few. The answer is absolutely ‘NOT.’ Don’t let the thief steal your potential, kill your dreams and destroy your future. You were born to succeed, to win not lose and to overcome and not be defeated. The next time you are faced with a mountain in your life, I challenge you to look at that obstacle and say with confidence, “Move Mountain, Move!!!” “Move Mountain, Move!!!” “MOVE MOUNTAIN, MOVE!!!”

[written by John Gipson #casualsuperstar]

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