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This time, Lord you gave me a Mountain!

Updated on September 26, 2016

Bill's challenge

About a month ago My (and probably yours too) friend Bill Holland issued a writing challenge, the challenge involved a few photos and a few simple rules (that I hope I stick to) and although Bill set a time frame for the challenge and I'm far too late for the prize (so sue me! lol!) I've been thinking of a story that I think people will enjoy.

Here's the story, simply called 'This time, Lord you gave me a Mountain!'

Mountains. problems or possiblities?

This time, Lord you gave me a Mountain
This time, Lord you gave me a Mountain | Source

The Mountain

"Mountains are for gettin' over," Dave said as they looked at the imposing peak in the distance. "Just like problems, they're for getting over too!"

Trust you to come up with that!" Shelley was frustrated, "only an 'eternal optimist' like you can find the proverbial sodding silk purse in the sows ear!"

I can't help it" Dave protested, it's the way the good Lord made me, seeing opportunity when others think they're defeated,

"But do you always have to be so bloody positive?" She almost screamed, "I mean we're probably going to lose the house!"And can you do anything about that?" He came back, he had no idea why he was behaving this way, he knew their situation was critical, they were already behind on the mortgage payments, but his daughter needed someone to 'put the hard word in,'

Shelley and her husband Eric had some tough luck over the last year, first, she lost her job, then now recently Eric getting a cut in hours things were going to get worse. Shelley and her partner were about to lose their house and they were hurting, but if Dave knew one thing from his nearly seventy years on this terrestrial ball."If life's about to throw you a curve-ball, then you swing that bat for all you're worth and knock that 'sucker out the park'

One man's trash, another man's treasure!

How would you see this? Could it be your dream home?
How would you see this? Could it be your dream home?

The change

Dave and his wife Cindy, Shelley's Mum lived lived 'out the back of beyond' in the Rockies, a choice they made a few years back when 'city life' was getting a bit too much and it was time for a major change before 'city life' took it's toll on them.

Once a 'big city lawyer' with all the trappings Dave seemed to have it all, but ten years before he got a 'wake-up' call that meant a huge change at least in the pace of life if nothing else.

It took the "trip we'd always promised ourselves" to convince Cindy, that and the sight of an old barn badly in need of restoration.

"Just think of the possibilities!" Dave had said as they first saw the old barn, even the old grain silo 'had potential' to become guest accommodation!

Selling up and moving was a 'no brainer' for them, and although it was a small heart attack and the supposed need to 'slow down' that drove the change, even that couldn't stop them.

"Once your dad gets it in his head" Cindy had told Shelley and Eric the first time they'd visited "Hell even a freight train couldn't pull him away from the idea!"

See the routes?

There's more than one way up this Baby!
There's more than one way up this Baby!

Their story

The whole family sat there as Shelley and Eric told their story, not that they needed to go into detail, Dave and Cindy knew most of it anyway, but there was something 'therapeutic' in the telling, almost as if they were seeing things for the first time. it was as if Shelley and Eric were seeing things for the first time as they sat there, and they needed some advice.

"So now I've been made redundant from the office, and Eric's hours at his job are cut back to the bare minimum." Shelley went on, "We're behind on the mortgage and that 'bloodsucking Bank is threatening foreclosure! Hell, they're the ones who showed me the sodding door!" she was almost weeping as she said it.

Everyone was silent for a moment as they allowed time for Shelley that time to recover, dave finally broke the silence. "Take a look at that mountain in the distance" he pointed to the snow-capped peak that'd persuaded them to buy the dilapidated barn and silo that they'd turned into the wonderful home that it now was.

"Pretty imposing isn't it!" Dave went on, "But you know something, there's a way to the top! you just need to find it"

"Dad" Shelley looked up, "are you even listening?" she asked, "We're about to lose the home, we're about to have the Bank take the home, how the hell are we going to explain that to the kids, you know, that we're homeless!"

"But there's a way forward" Cindy came back, "You just haven't noticed it yet!"

"Where?" Eric wanted to call her 'Mom' but it just didn't sound right, though Shelley's parents had been more a 'Mom and dad' to them than his parents ever had.

"Take a look for a moment" dave pointed to the mountain, "what do you see?"

"A whole lot of snow and ice!" Eric replied, "not a lot of anything else!"

"See the rock outcrop? and the ridge there" Dave pointed some features out, they're a way to the top! or over there, there's a valley that leads to a ravine and a slightly more gentle rise that leads out into the saddle, then you can reach the summit from there!"

"Just what are you getting at Dad?" Shelley was mystified but wanted to see where Dave was going with this thought, it was just like him to lead them this way to what he saw was the answer.

Massive loads maybe, taking away dreams, not a chance!

"Massive juggernauts they may be, but even they can't tear you away from your dream, not if you don't want them to" (Dave)
"Massive juggernauts they may be, but even they can't tear you away from your dream, not if you don't want them to" (Dave) | Source

Even the trains give up trying to dissuade him!

When Dave gets an idea even a freight train can't stop him!
When Dave gets an idea even a freight train can't stop him!

I haven't failed ten thousand times! I found nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine ways that won't work!

And one way that will!

— Thomas Eddison on the lightbulb

The real issue

"Let me ask you a question" Dave looked them both in the eye, "Just what are you scared of? is it failure?"

"Are you serious?" Eric was dumbfounded, "are you even listening? we're about to lose everything we've worked the last ten years for, and you ask what we're afraid of? it's of losing everything!"

"That's just it" Dave shot back almost as fast. "You're not losing a thing, least nothing that's important!"

"A house and a home aren't important?" Shelley didn't quite believe what she was hearing, this was the guy who'd worked sixteen hour days for decades, built a great law practice and almost lost a family in the process, and he was saying they weren't going to lose anything of importance!

"Remember when you were growing up Shelley?" Dave replied. "I was totally stupid, and it nearly cost us everything! Hell, even ten years ago I hadn't learned my lesson properly until I had the heart attack"

They stopped for a moment as Cindy had gone inside to make some iced tea, she was bringing the drinks back out along with some English muffins and butter for a snack. As soon as they'd received the drinks Dave continued. "You've got a chance to walk away from the mistakes I made, you've got a chance to 'jump the gun' and sell the house, pay off what you can and move on!"

"But we'll still owe the Bank money" Eric butted in, it'll be years before we can pay the mortgage off! We'll be dead and gone long before that!"

"So you think now." Dave replied, "But it's amazing how much things change from year to year, all you have to do is keep moving forward, and when one route hasn't worked, get back to 'base camp' and find another route!"

"We'll be dead and gone before the debt's paid"

The plan.

"Listen" Dave spoke up after a suitable time had passed, "The only time that we ever fail at anything is when we give up on it! Okay, what you tried hasn't worked, but that doesn't mean there isn't another way to the 'summit' you just need to look for it".

They'd needed time to digest the information that he'd said to them, losing the house and the seeming dream of owning their own home wasn't the end of the world! Yes the dream would take longer, and there'd be long-term issues to deal with, but there is a way forward, and they needed to see it.

The road wasn't easy, and there were times when they wondered if they'd done the right thing but slowly over the days, weeks months and even the years things slowly changed and most of the changes were for the better.

How do you view life's challenges?

When I saw the challenge and the pictures the first thing I thought of was the Elvis Presley song "This time Lord, you gave me a Mountain!" and I just had to write something like this. Okay it;s not very 'polished' and as I said I'm way too late for any prizes but it was still a great exercise.

By the way, for me this is something special as a few years ago this is very similar to the things that we went through and guess what, there is 'life' on the other side, but sometimes we just can't see it until someone gives us that proverbial 'kick in the butt' and for us it actually was a lawyer who gave it to us, but that's another story.

Hope you enjoyed it


And now for the song

How about you?

How do you deal with life's 'curve-balls'?

See results


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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      11 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Love your illustrations and the life lesson embedded within your text. Nice job on Bill's challenge.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I totally agree. For me, this one was a hub where I did a bit of reflection on a lesson we learned the hard way a few years ago, and the story 'just flowed' from there.

      As soon as I saw Bill's challenge I knew what my reply would be about. Thank you for reading.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      15 months ago from SW England

      I certainly did enjoy this, Lawrence! Great story, good use of dialogue, and a great message which holds true for everyone. When one has climbed that 'impossible mountain' there's so much satisfaction in what one has achieved. I've been a long way down and it definitely makes the 'ups' count for more!

      It's taken me a while to get round to reading your response to bill's challenge but I'm glad I did.


    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      17 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you. You pretty much summed up the story, the idea of never giving up, no matter the 'curve balls' you get thrown.

      It'd been a while since I visited this hub, and recently we got some 'curve balls' came our way, so it was good to go back and read the story, and realize we're swinging the bat 'for all it's worth!!'


    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      17 months ago from Texas

      Lawrence, this is a life lesson, if you don't try you have already failed. You are a winner and so is your story.

      Blessings always.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I'll have to look that one up, and thank you for the share.


    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Life's challenges have made me and my family wiser and stronger and we have learned to be ever optimistic. Please listen to Miley Cyrus's song The Climb if you have not. It is what I thought of as I read each line of your so filled with truth and wisdom hub.

      Angels are once again on the way ps


    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I couldn't agree more! Glad you liked it.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good message. My thought for the day: "If life's about to throw you a curve-ball, then you swing that bat for all you're worth and knock that 'sucker out the park'."

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thanks, glad you liked it.


    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      2 years ago from Chicago

      Alright Lawrence, great response, great concept here, great Elvis tune. It doesn't matter that you are late in responding to good ole Bill's challenge.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Glad you enjoyed the hub. For some reason I decided that I had to write the story even though the deadline had well and truly passed even before I saw the challenge!



    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent response to the challenge and I must congratulate you that you published it although the deadline has passed.

      I found your story truly inspirational and yes all of do need that kick at sometimes or the other. And when we continue our hard work with patience, success has to come sooner or later.

      The video is excellent and Elvis Is one of my favourites.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful story!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you, and thank you for the 'share'

      As soon as I read about the challenge the song started going through my mind, I just knew it had to be in there!

      Go ahead and finish your story, I'm sure it'll be awesome.


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      2 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Lawrence,

      I love your response here to Bill's challenge! I started a story too, but missed the deadline, but now I'm thinking maybe I should go ahead and publish it as you have.

      Life does place a lot of mountains in our path, but when we persevere up and over that mountain, we certainly become stronger and learn a lot about life. I love that song by Elvis, perfect to include for this challenge.


      Peace and blessings

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      A good way of looking at life and challenges.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you, the story is fiction, but some of the lessons aren't! Glad you enjoyed it.


    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Wonderful story, and wonderful lesson, Lawrence. Good things are always worth waiting for. This was worth the wait. Glad you finished it!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Thank you.


    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      A lovely story with an important message. Well done.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I think it's hard to see that when you're in the middle of the situation, and sometimes friends have to be 'cruel to be kind!'

      I wanted to explore a little about the 'clash' that goes on when people first realize there is a way forward after losing a home and dreams.

      Thank you for sharing.


    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      2 years ago from Texas

      There's always life on the other side. I've lost "everything" a couple of times in my life already. There may or may not be another time in the future it will happen. We just never know. But I have learned that a home and all other material things are not the most important things in life no matter how important they seem at the time. Great story and great lesson you have here.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I think you should listen to your kids!

      You're right about the 'Mountains'. They can be anything that we struggle with, for us, we could look at selling the house as 'losing it' (there were two rental properties as well) but then again we can look at the sale as 'freeing us'.

      Recently I've been watching a local TV series on Sir Edmund Hillary (the first to climb Everest) and one classic I thought was his first words when he got back to base camp after the climb was "Well, that's knocked the bugger off!"

      Glad you found the story 'a jail breakout' story!


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence this was great. I actually worked in foreclosure recovery and problem resolution for about a decade. And lately my elder children have been pressing me to write about "4 jails on 4 continents". (and that brawl in Sidney should not be counted ;) Sometimes our mountains are just getting dressed in the morning. Sometimes they just accepting love. You my friend are a jail break out person who I read with freedom.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      It wasn't so much that, but 'its no use crying over spilt milk!' I couldn't change the fact the deadline was gone (you're right though, I wouldn't have worried too much about it!).

      The idea behind the story came to me pretty much as soon as I read the challenge so I just had to 'run with it'

      Glad you enjoyed it though.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the fact that you didn't give a hoot about the deadline and just finished your story anyway. That's what writers do...deadlines be damned! LOL And a fine story it is, my friend. Thank you so much for finishing was well-worth the wait.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      As soon as I saw Bill's challenge I knew I'd write something, but the more I thought about it the more the idea of 'problems versus possibilities' came to mind.

      I didn't mean for anyone to be offended by it, and I hope you weren't but it's part of the journey Jodie and I are on since we went through some of the stuff in the hub a few years ago!

      I think I will 'polish' the hub a bit over the next few days, and I hope the hub helped you 'see the positive'



    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Life has recently thrown me a couple of curveballs, Lawrence, and I really needed this kick in the but right now. Your message in this story is clear and it is a winner in my book even if it "isn't polished" as you say. Glad you decided to write it even though Bill's deadline has passed. Thanks.


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