What’s Next?

What’s Next? guest post by Richard Bingman

I remember when I was about six years old, my father told me that he was slightly blood- related to the Cherokee Indians and knew a lot about their way of life.  He told me that they wanted to live on and control the hill tops. They had keen vision and could see for miles. This enabled them to overcome a sense of fear from advancing storms and enemies. Also, they could observe the movement of buffalo, their major food and clothing supply. This description is very important to why I am writing this story.

When I was eleven years old my father relocated me and my family to live on a hill top. Although it was very cold in the winter and difficult to climb, it was a very good observation post. I can remember when my father would get up in the morning, go outside and look in all directions. He could count the cows, see the movement of wildlife, which he loved to hunt and eat, and observe what the neighbors were doing as they moved around below. Seeing all of this helped him to decide what he needed to do next to overcome his daily challenges.

Throughout my adult years I have been aware on several occasions of the value of going to the hills to clarify my thinking and overcome troublesome issues.

In 1972, I made a trip to Israel for an educational conference. While there, I toured the Holy Land. Two of the landmarks interesting to me were Mount Temptation and the Sermon on the Mount. Both were located in the hills and were focused on overcoming the challenges of leading a renewed Christian Life.  I found this relationship interesting but not compelling.

Then, in 2002, my wife and I bought a home near a steep hill on Table Rock Lake South of Springfield, Mo. I looked at the challenges of walking up that hill as very difficult, but I needed exercise. Also, I wanted to stand at the top and watch the Branson Belle, a Silver Dollar Excursion Boat, move up and down the lake.

Walking up that hill was very difficult at first, with many stops. Eventually, I was able to overcome the difficulty and even enjoyed the chance to stand at the top,  having acquired exercise and leaving the troubles below. Also, I greatly increased my lung capacity which helped me overcome a severe case of pneumonia in 2014.  It was at this time that I was realizing that the hills were important to me.

This was confirmed in a rather unusual way. I chose to attend a Vision Board Workshop at Unity Spiritual Center Springfield, Mo., facilitated by Rev. Jen Hutchins, of Unity Arts Ministry, based in Lees Summit, Mo. I had no prior orientation about the workshop. What was to come was a surprise to me.

In the workshop we proceeded to extend our imagination and visual powers to select paper images (art) that each had an attribute or feeling (soul) that was important to us. These matches were posted by us on our individual vision boards for future reference.

In my case, after some difficulty in finding matches, I found one showing a steep hill top with two persons standing on it celebrating they had overcome the challenge in reaching there. I considered it my headliner and placed it at the top of my vision board. I will not go into additional details, except to let the reader know about my excitement regarding this matter.

It was through this workshop that I was able to pull together and confirm my complete story. I felt like a golfer who had just made a hole in one, or a football player who had just kicked a 60 yard field goal or even a basketball player who had just made a shot from mid- court. So, what’s next?

I will “Lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” Psalm 121:1 and move on.


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