Mountain Top Experiences

 

         Have you ever had an experience where you felt very excited and happy for several hours or even several days?  Perhaps it was on a special trip or retreat, a party or wedding, graduation ceremonies or working hard on a project that you felt passionate about  - some time that was not ordinary but extraordinary in your life.  You wished it wouldn’t have to end.  We call these mountain top experiences.

         Mountain top experiences always come to an end.  And then we must return to normal life, responsibilities, annoyances and tasks.  Perhaps for a while, we still feel a “glow” from our mountain top experience.  Or perhaps we feel a bit depressed when we come back to normal life after our mountain top experience.

         Please describe one or more times in your life that you would call mountain top experiences as I’ve defined them.  Give details of what made the experience so special for you.  What were the circumstances?  Was it a mountain top experience for others too, or just for you?  Why did it effect you so strongly?

         Did you have the desire to live your life differently after this experience?  Did the experience  change you permanently in some way, or was it a temporary effect?

         How did you react to normal life again after the experience?  Was it difficult to return to normal things?

 

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Saul is a man who tried to kill Jews who followed Jesus.  But then one day he had a “mountain top experience” – but not on a mountain, just on a road.

“Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground.  He heard a voice speak to him, “Saul! Saul!” the voice said, “Why are you opposing me?”  “Who are you, Lord?”  Saul asked.

“I am Jesus,” he replied.  “I am the one you are opposing.  Now get up and go into the city.  There you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there.  They weren’t able to speak.  They had heard sound.  But they didn’t see anyone.  Saul got up from the ground.  He opened his eye, but he couldn’t see.  So they led him by the hand into Damascus.  For three days he was blind.  He didn’t eat anything.”  Acts 9:3-9

 

*****What was the purpose of this mountain top experience in Saul’s life?  How would you react to such an experience if you were Saul?