It's so cliche, but so true. Being up on a mountain gives you real perspective. Mountains are referred to in the bible as places where prophets received direction for their people. Even where they received commandments. Mountains are places where temples are to be built.
When our family climbed up to the Y on the side of the mountain in Provo last month, my husband and I stood and looked down and felt our smallness. We looked south and pointed out our itty bitty town of Springville, which is peopled by 25,000 but looked a lot smaller than that from a couple thousand feet above it.
My husband has been struggling here and there at work, wondering if he is doing what he wants to be doing for the next twenty good working years we have left. He admits that sometimes he is jealous of my enthusiasm for my job and my love for the kids and for my coworkers. He feels a bit hung out to dry because he felt a real calling to his profession years back but has lost some of his zeal. There are parts of his career that he is nuts for and has excelled at, but there are parts that he would like to have surgically removed. Unfortunately, that is not going to be a real possibility. He can unintentionally get caught in the whirlpool of feeling down and close to desperate. Can you say "mid-life crisis"?
But when we were up on the mountain for that afternoon everything was different. The adrenaline helped, but I believe that the height of the climb and the view from our final destination was medicinal. All of his concerns are not solved, but for that day they were put in perspective and all seemed right with the world.
It makes sense to me that these mountains were formed by masses of land being smashed against each other. Maybe we need a little smashing and a little climbing before we start to get perspective on our own itty bitty lives.