Mountain Top Experience


Have you ever heard something referred to as a “mountain top experience?” Martin Luther King, III, described his visit to India on the fiftieth anniversary of his father’s trip. The elder King had made the trip to help him further understand Mahatma Gandhi’s successful tactics of passive resistance. “This was truly a mountain-top type of experience for me,” the younger King said. “I remember my mother, sharing this very special experience with us children in the family of how moving this experience was for her. … Now I truly understand that it’s one thing for a parent to share the experience, it’s another thing for you to be physically at the site and experience it for oneself.”

I had just such an experience a few years ago while in Rome for FOX NEWS covering the death of Pope John Paul II and the Papal Conclave. At the end of our coverage the crew got several days to relax before coming stateside. One day I escaped the Rome to climb Mt. Vesuvius and tour the City of Pompeii. This ancient city was buried under sixty feet of ash and pumice during the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It was lost for nearly 1700 years before it was discovered in 1748. During the tour of the excavation, we were able to learn much about life in this ancient city at the height of the Roman Empire. I had researched it on the Internet but pictures just can’t replace being there. It was truly a mountain top experience.

It’s easy to be inspired and motivated during such an experience. However, the climb to the top of the mountain wasn’t particularly inspiring. LIfe is like that. It’s more difficult to be motivated during the daily “climb” The mountain-top experiences are a great reward for a hard climb, but the real value comes from the climb. It’s during the climb that we really develop the strength and stamina for the next challenge. There is a natural tendency to avoid the climb. It’s important for us to see the climb as an opportunity to become stronger and more capable.

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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