When you were a kid, did you ever play the game, King of the Hill?
If you’re not familiar with this rough and tumble playground game, let me enlighten you. The object is to be the one person who is able to say atop a “hill,” whether it be an actual mound of dirt or just a large pile of objects. In order to stay atop, you need to be strong and be capable of warding off those who try to push or shove you off the hill.
That game was always just a bit too physical for me. I didn’t particularly like getting pushed or shoved around (still don’t), and I was a scrawny little kid who just couldn’t fend for myself enough to keep a kingdom long. I was much happier playing hopscotch or jumping rope on the school playground than being in a shoving free for all.
King of the Hill. In addition to being a childhood game, it’s also a metaphor for being the winner of any kind of competition or activity where you actually displace the previous winner.
Although I can be just as competitive as the next guy, I’m not exactly a king of the hill kind of person. To me, it just seems like being a bully, or at least a pushy enough person to get your way, even when it comes to a physical altercation. Not my idea of winning.
But you can be a king of the hill in other ways. You can experience those mountain top feelings by achieving your goals. Or finally finishing something you always wanted to do. Reaching a new plateau in your personal life, your travels, or even in your faith can be one of those king of the hill moments.
Or it just might be that feeling of being in love like the old Carpenters’ song from the 1970’s:
I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world.
This week’s photo challenge theme is ‘atop.’ And as usual, my mind starts to wander over a myriad of thoughts about that word.
I haven’t been atop that many high places. I’ve taken plenty of trips by airplane, so in essence I’ve been atop in terms of altitude. And I’ve been to the top of a few high spots like Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River, in North Carolina at 6,683 feet.
I’ve even visited one of the highest towns in the United States. Silverton, Colorado in the San Juan Mountain range of the Rocky Mountains, has an elevation of 9,308 feet, although it’s not the tallest spot in the Rockies.
I’ve climbed the steps to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty but didn’t make it to the top of her crown. Several times I’ve enjoyed the magnificent view of our fair city Pittsburgh both during the day and at night from atop Mount Washington, which isn’t really a mountain but a steep hill.
Still the view is amazing atop. And isn’t that the thing about being atop a mountain or a hill or a wonderful feeling? It’s amazing.
My oldest daughter and son-in-law made a week-long trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa a couple years ago. The journey up the mountain through several climate zones wasn’t easy and the altitude at 19,341 feet was a bit disorienting but the few minutes they were able to bask in the surrounding view at daybreak from atop the summit of that mountain was unforgettable.
Since then, they’ve made a bucket list to visit the highest point in every state of the United States. So far, I think they’ve completed 13 of those. For them, it’s a goal worthy of achieving. That feeling of reaching and accomplishing that which you set out to do.
It’s a King of the Hill kind of moment.
And that makes me consider what makes me feel like I’m king of the hill? Often times, it’s an experience I encounter as I worship my God or read His Word. Other times, I feel like the king of the hill when I’m happily surrounded by my family and loved ones. Or when I encounter something new and exciting, visit someplace I’ve never been before.
Simple things, really. But those are the things that make me feel atop of the world. How about you?
“Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it’s a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.” ~ Frank Herbert