One of the most uplifting stories in the Bible is the transfiguration of Jesus. The story tells us that Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray, taking with him Peter, John and James. Even though Peter, James and John have traveled with Jesus for a good while, and have seen many miracle moments, this moment on the mountain takes them by surprise. They are completely stunned when Jesus begins to change as he is praying. What an astounding sight to watch the face of Jesus begin to shine, his clothes begin to glisten, and his entire being transfigured before them.
What a moment! Peter wants to hold onto the moment, and wonders how to capture it, how to stay in the moment forever.
That’s my problem, too. Most of the time, in fact, my prayers are simply times of silence when I hope beyond hope that God is hearing me. I pray to what feels like an absent God at times, a silent God that just may not be hearing the prayers of my heart. And if I do experience a holy moment, I cannot seem to hold on to it or make it last. I don’t experience that many holy moments in the first place, but in times of deep prayer, sincere meditation, abiding with God, there are brief sacred moments that make my faith soar.
They are moments of heightened awareness. I call them “mountaintop moments.” Unfortunately, I cannot force them to happen. Instead, such moments literally break into my life in an instant, surprise me, and always leave me different than I was before. In such times, I learn learn that my life holds more holy mystery than I can possibly imagine.
Mountaintop moments remind us that God is real and that we are filled with hidden spiritual insight. Mountaintop moments remind us that we can see Jesus transfigured and walk away from that with our own transfiguration. Mountaintop moments promise us that, though they don’t last forever, they forever change us. Thanks be to God for every mountaintop moment we experience.