Mountain of a Man

Grizzly Adams

“He’s a mountain of a man!”

That phrase has been around almost as long as the mountains. Whenever I hear those words, I think of someone like Grizzly Adams. Others may think of Jed Clampett, Daniel Boone, or even Adam Pontipee from the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, played by Howard Keel.
Howard Keel

But what is really meant when someone is referred to as a mountain man; or, when someone says, “He’s a mountain of a man”?

Stop and think with me a moment. Are all mountains the same? No? If all mountains are not the same, what are some major differences? And if there are some major differences in mountains, what about the man?

People use the “mountain man” phrase primarily to describe a man who’s big physically and/or has a lot of social or financial influence in a town, region, or some designated area. While physical size, high social standing, and financial well being are things to behold, do they really make someone big enough to be compared with a mountain? If so, which mountain?

I think we agree that all mountains were not created equal. There are HUGE mountains, medium sized mountains, and even bluffs (mountain wannabes). There are mountains that are full of timber, while others have no vegetation whatsoever. Some mountains stand alone. Most are part of a range.

Mountains have not only been used to describe people, but also kingdoms, protection and refuge. Mount Zion can refer to the Church or the City of David. Mountains describe future glory, but also help travelers maintain a constant direction.

Within many mountains one can find precious metals and minerals. Some mountains are alive, as deep within them pressure constantly rises until it finally blows its top off.

Okay. Now a big question for all of the mountain men and women. (If you can take a moment to reply in the comment section, I’d love to hear your thoughts.)

The question is: “What kind of mountain are you?”

How about “THE BLUFF” – not as big as they like to think or let on. They are approachable, fairly easy to access, but they allow them self to be walked on more than they like. They don’t blow up, but they also haven’t had the pressure within to force them to grow. So, they’re just existing. Bigger than some but not as big as they could have been.Bluff

Next we have “THE PEAK” – so grand and picturesque, every side is their “good side”. They allow people to climb up and down them, day in and day out. They’re not afraid of anything (except lightning and matches). They are popular, known throughout the world, and people travel far and wide just to have their picture taken with them. They’re not exactly accessible, as people have to go through some degree of difficulty just to see things from THE PEAK’S perspective. But if people cooperate with them on their terrain, they will finally begin to see the world as THE PEAK sees it.

VolcanoHow about “THE VOLCANO”? Pretty easy to spot this one. They’re known to blow their lid with little notice. They usually are rumbling all the time about something, so you can’t be sure exactly when or if they will explode on you. Typically with Volcanos, they have few close friends. People just feel safer keeping their distance.
Most High
There are few in this world who have the dubious distinction of being called “THE MOST HIGH”, and even fewer can measure up to such prominence. Now, you may wonder if I’m referring to God or His “specially chosen ones”. No, I’m referring to those who consider themselves to be so far above all others. In fact, normal people can’t even breathe the same air THE MOST HIGH breathe. To approach them you must have special gear, plenty of time to wait out any sudden storms, climb at just the right season, and risk your life trying to get to the first camp. They are beautiful to photograph, but impossible to know. They stand gloriously alone; unequaled, yet alone.


Finally, I’ll mention my favorite. This is the kind of mountain I want to be. I call it “THE ENCOURAGER”. Tall enough to give you a good view, yet easy to access with little effort. No special gear needed, you can breathe the same air as the “ENCOURAGER”, and you can explore to your hearts content. This is the mountain that offers year round beauty, fellowship, and fresh perspective each time you address it.

Five kinds of mountains:


“He’s a mountain of a man!” But what kind of mountain?


2 responses to “Mountain of a Man”

  1. I’m probably a little of each. I do strive to be The Encourager mountain. “Fellowship and fresh perspective” can be somewhat challenging for me. But…I am going to church this morning with my kids and I know it’s a good step in becoming a better and more productive mountain…person!


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