First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. At last, there is only a mountain, just like there always already was, right from the beginning. And it couldn't be more obvious.
—Buddhist saying as found in
Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening
by Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Adam Leonard and Marco Morelli
Seeing the mountain
Alex and Jane McKeague of Ottawa lived and worked for two years in Africa.
Several times during their stay they had the opportunity to drive by Mount Kilimanjaro. Each time clouds shrouded the mountain and it couldn’t be seen. The people with them said with great excitement, “There’s Mount Kilimanjaro!” But they couldn’t see it. They couldn’t believe that a mountain was even there.
One day, when a visiting friend required a drive to the airport, they headed out in the dark of night. They delivered their friend to the airport, saw her flight off and then returned to their car for the drive home. When they pulled out of the airport and rounded the corner, the sun of a new day shone on the full glory of Kilimanjaro.
The awestruck couple stopped the car, climbed out and gaped in wonder at the snow-capped mountain standing alone in the midst of sun-drenched Africa. They marvelled at something they had heard about but couldn’t believe.
I have many friends who don’t believe in God, and they don’t “get” faith. That’s OK. Maybe it’s not their time yet. Maybe one day the clouds will dissipate for them and they will see a snow-capped glory that they couldn’t believe was there before.
Sometimes, when the time is right, something has to be experienced to be believed.