Conquering the Mountain that is Me

I ran across a quote this morning by Sir Edmund Hillary that speaks to a universal issue that humans face - the need to control our baser desires. I looked a bit further and found a few more quotes that speak to this phenomena:
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. -Sir Edmund Hillary

You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.
-James Whittaker

When you heard that a mountain was moved, believe it; but when you hear that someone changed his character do not believe it.
-Arabian Proverb

You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. -Jesus Christ
The idea of conquering your mountain is so important to living well. So I thought that I might share a few ideas from my own life about how I have conquered me.. nothing earth shaking here.. just a few lessons I have learned along the way.. in no particular order:
  1. Identity: I remember a time when I was tempted and something rose up in me and said "No, that is not who I am"!  It was a moment when my innermost being rose up and conquered my fleshly desire. Knowing who you are at a core level is so important when you are tempted to behave badly.
  2. Inner Strength: The battle to conquer me is all about feeding, training and strengthening the real me - what the scriptures refer to as my innermost being. I can only conquer the outer me when the inner me is stronger than the outer me.
  3. Impotent Rules: My journey changed when my eyes started to open and I began to see how ineffective my rules were in dealing with pain and temptation. Rules are dependent on our mental faculties. This is problematic because the brain, and it's ability to rationalize, is often part of the problem.
  4. Listening to My Gut: When I began to understand that God had given me a new gut (i.e. innermost being) I started to listen to it more. The gut.. or conscience.. or heart.. what ever you call our moral center is something to be listened to. In a sense these are the rules that we should follow.
  5. Faith: In a very real sense faith is absolutely needed to conquer the mountain that is me. Faith is the means of transformation. Faith is at the heart of being born again.. and apart from spiritual birth the mountain that is me will not be conquered because the inner me will not have the capacity to subdue the outer me.
Not sure that I have communicated this very well. Some of this is simply not very easy to convey. And I might have crossed over from sharing to preaching on that last point. 

What lessons have you learned along the way about conquering the mountain that is you?


  1. Bob, you have communicated these truths very well. Something we all need to reevaluate in our lives daily. I'm so glad we have the Holy Spirit - our gut, our innermost being to guide and direct.

    Faith is at the root of it all!!

    Good read, lots to ponder. Have a great day Bob!

  2. Definitely lots to ponder. Faith is the key and your statement that the brain and its ability to rationalize is often part of the problem ,is so true.
    The rational brain seems so loud sometimes and it far out yells what my Spirit is saying. We are such complicated creatures that want to be in control.
    If I didn't constantly yield to the Lord I would really be in a mess.


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