The Top

It is spinning so fast that we can only see the motion and not the details engraved on it. As it stops, we see how the top is artistically made; a handiwork.

Back then in the locality where I grew up, tops were handcrafted by someone. These tops were chiseled from wood pieces and a long nail is buried at its center. Children learn the art of spinning the wooden top using the carefully selected fine ropes that were made from abaca. These fine ropes were made to pass through the wax of candles. The better spinners were always looked at as small champions. Amazing hands!

But that was then. Today, tops spin faster. They are multi-colored and they are made of machines in factories. Amazing technology!

I once joined a group that was enthusiastically exploring caves and mountains. At one time, the group decided to climb one of the highest mountains in that region. They said the view from the top was amazing. At first I was hesistant to go with them. I was told that it would take twelve long hours to climb to the top. “That must be too difficult,” I said. But then my curiosity was aroused when all of them were going except me. I did not want to be left behind. And so I went along. I must see the top, too. Oh the hurting legs and back!

Indeed the climb to the top was very challenging. We started at the base of the mountain at four in the morning. With light backpacks and extra shirts, we took off on time. Surprise! I was horrified to know that there was no trail and that you have to make your own pathway. “What?” I wanted to turn back after an hour of walking. But no one wanted to go back with me. So I was forced to go up the path to the top. Persevere!

The group seemed to have an easy climb. Perhaps they had prepared well for this trip. I was not ready. But I went along just the same. I wanted to reach the top! Be with the team.

There was a part in the climb that you had to cross a web of big roots to get to the other end. I could not believe what I saw. “What if I fall? What will happen?” I wanted them to give me an assuring response. But that was a foolish question because it was also their first time to go up that mountain. Praying fervently and trusting God to bring me to the other end, I slowly moved on top of that web of big roots. It was shaking and I could see the height down below. I could see the cliff from both sides. But I had no other option but to move on and pass that way. There was no other way.

I was the last to pass through that path. My friends were very patient to wait at the other end. I was grateful to see that they did not leave me behind. But no! Just as I was able to step to the edge of the other end, my friends started to walk again. Oh no! I thought I would have the time to rest, too, just like how they rested while I was struggling on that path. “Can we take a rest?” I said. They just responded with a smile, “Oh, we are still halfway through the climb and we are running out of time. It would be dark soon and we would not see the way up.”

Afraid of the dark to race behind me, I hurried my steps. It was almost six in the evening when we reached the top. It took us more than twelve hours which was the estimated length of the climb to the top. But it did not matter anymore. The beauty at the top was amazingly wonderful. Darkness was trying to cover the light of the world. The cloud was starting to descend and slowly covered the earth. Soon the whole mountain was covered with fog. Terrified that we may fall from a cliff, we went inside the only tavern that was there. The cold breeze of the mountain was so intense that we had to go inside the bunks as though they were coffins to hide ourselves for the night.

The early morning sunrise was a majestic view from the top. The sun cracked the clouds and its rays drove away the cold breeze. Whatever the difficulty and the fright that I had during the climb was well worth it with this priceless view. No wonder many would say that if you want to be reconciled with yourself, you can go up the mountain and you will feel God’s greatness and man’s lowliness.

God’s grandeur is immensely majestic. His loving mercy is greater than any mountain and no mountain top can match His glory.

God sees us from the top. He observes us from the top of our mountains and watches us as we make our climbs. He sees our struggles just like the spinning top. He sees our intent to search for meaning. But unlike the spinning top where we cannot see the details of it, God understands that we are looking for purpose. He knows every detail of our prayers. God knows our mountains. God listens as we pray to reach the top of each mountain we climb so that we will see His glory. Then we can say, “The climb is well worth it because now I am in God’s presence.”