The One Secret to Contentment with God #fiveminutefriday

I am a Christian author, so I know that what I’m supposed to write is how to have a fulfilled life and a contented Christian walk with God. Most Christian books are marketed on that basis – they will give you the secret you have been missing in your life for spiritual success.

It’s not the fault of the writers, nor even the marketers. They’re responding to what readers want. What I want.

Like me, you want an easy, happy Christian life with a great balance of rest and health and spiritual contentment. You want to do the right thing and feel continuous joy.

You want to be the best Christian you can be – with the least effort and the most fun.

What does it take to achieve this longed-for wonderful Christian life? I have the secret, and I will share it here.


It’s not actually my secret – it’s a parable by Adrian Plass, (probably, but by no means certainly, from his book The Final Boundary). The story stuck with me ever since I was a kid, because I didn’t understand it.

From my fogged memory of reading it c. 25 years ago, the story goes like this:

Wannabe disciple: How can I be the best Christian I can be?
Spiritual advisor / Jesus?: Climb Mount Snowdon. Every day.
Wannabe disciple: Ah, I see. You mean metaphorically. Like taking up your cross and following Jesus – it’s a metaphor.
Spiritual advisor/ Jesus: No. Literally. Climb the mountain. Go up. Go down. Have fun. Do it again tomorrow.


As a kid, I just didn’t get it. I puzzled over it for ages. Why relate something so spiritual to something so physical? Whilst emphasising that it’s not a metaphor? But my Mum chuckled as she read it, and nodded.

Now, as an adult, I finally understand it. You wake up everyday, and you climb that mountain. Just that one mountain, day after day. You do it physically, with your body. You sweat and struggle. There are times when the sun is on your back and birds sing, and you wave to fellow climbers. There are times when you struggle to breathe and you’re alone. It takes all your energy. You reach the summit, knowing you’ll just have to repeat it again tomorrow. You don’t have time to reflect or study or measure your achivement because you’re busy just doing it.

If you’re panicked that everyone else has their life together and is solving their spiritual and life problems with podcasts and sermons and unread books that you are behind on, just remember this one secret to living the Christian life.

You climb Mount Snowdon. Every day. I’ll see you there.


Like me, you want an easy, happy Christian life...Here's the secret. @Tanya_Marlow (with help from Adrian Plass): Click To Tweet If you're panicked that everyone else has their life together...just remember this one secret to living the Christian life Click To Tweet How climbing Mount Snowdon might be the answer to all your spiritual problems (with thanks to Adrian Plass) Click To Tweet

(For Jenny Rowbory: who is the best mountain climber I know. With thanks to the legend who is Adrian Plass.)

Over to you:

  • What do you think of Adrian Plass’ advice?
  • Does do you find this advice comforting or daunting?

Joining with #fiveminutefriday. This was my best five minutes on Secret.

Photo Credit: PIxabay

P.S. If you’re receiving this by Mailchimp and wondering why you haven’t heard from me recently, it’s because it’s been acting up. It’s not you, it’s me. Do catch up on my latest blog posts here. 

Those Who Wait 

Those Who Wait – Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay. Biblical characters who waited impatiently – and found God there – for anyone who feels like they’re living life stuck in a waiting room. Contains the secret to a joyful Christian life.*

“This is a gentle book full of humanity, biblical integrity and unexpected humour.” – Pete Greig, founder of 24:7 Prayer Movement.

*irony. But do buy my book anyway!







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4 Responses to The One Secret to Contentment with God #fiveminutefriday

  1. Ann McCool 24th May, 2018 at 11:08 pm #

    LOVE this! It reminds me of the saying: before enlightenment chop wood carry water, after enlightenment chop wood carry water. Which has always been a sort of battle cry, that even though I’m a Christian, life is in all the little daily things we do day after day – not just study. Love this picture though, and the book recommendation!

  2. Rebecka 20th May, 2018 at 11:50 am #

    “Do you find this advice comforting or daunting?” I’ve been thinking about this question for two days now and I don’t know. Or rather, it depends. If I’m having a good day, it’s comforting, if I’m going through a tough time like I am at the moment, it’s definitely more daunting. A bit like life in general, I suppose…

    P.s. I’s love to climb a mountain with you some day!

  3. jennifer ingram 18th May, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

    feeling weary of the mountain over here. Thanks for the encouragement! And the recommendation. Don’t know if it’s personal ignorance or being in US, have not heard of Adrian Plass. Putting him on my list!

  4. Misty 18th May, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    <3 It is so much simpler. I just had a chat with a friend about how we OVER COMPLICATE things…

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