Faith and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Scintilla Project, Day 6: Talk about an experience with faith. Your own, or someone else’s.

Mount Kilimanjaro. I will never climb it. It is a near certainty I will never even see it from a distance. The best it will ever be for me is pictures and movies of various quality. I meet people who have climbed it once in a while.

I am aware, however, that Mount Kilimanjaro exists. I can, for all intents and purposes, guarantee that Mount Kilimanjaro is at this very moment looming over the landscape in Tanzania. This, despite the fact that it is roughly 8,000 miles away from where I am sitting. Roughly 8,000 miles from anywhere I have ever been in my entire life, actually.

Sure, sometimes in an existential moment, I’ll ponder the notion that I can’t guarantee anything that I cannot see at any given moment. But for the most part, I know it’s there. I’ll never witness its beauty, never be made stronger by scaling it, never share stories with brethren who have also scaled it. Unlike Toto, I shall in all likelihood never bless the rains down in Africa.

A picture. A movie. A story. A silly song from the 1980’s. That is all I’m ever going to experience of Mount Kilimanjaro. Though of course, in this life, anything is possible. And sometimes, even the pictures and stories are moving enough.

Those stories, images, movies and legends of Mount Kilimanjaro are sometimes inspiring. Exciting. Thought provoking and profound. Many are horrifying. Sickening. Tragic and sad. So many right and noble reasons to go to Mount Kilimanjaro. And so many wrong, misguided ones.

My own experience with faith? Mount Kilimanjaro.


  1. Love!

    Such a great metaphor, and one I can relate to.

  2. This is such an apt, powerful and moving (not to mention witty) post. Thank you – it’s brilliant!

  3. Thanks to you both. I’m glad you could relate to it in some way. I’ve used several metaphors for the Divine, and other such things, but this prompt made me want to reach for something different. To communicate my awareness of what is beyond, but the distance to same I feel much of the time.

  4. Great post. Also, I now have that Toto song in my head. thanks for that.

  5. Noel

    Such an unexpected metaphor — I love it!

  6. This is not what I would expect for a post about faith but it’s a very nice surprise and a beautiful read.

    • Thank you. It seems to have spoken to various people, so I am glad I at least conveyed what I was hoping to.

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