What Do Miley Cyrus and Julie Andrews Have In Common?

be-stillI am probably one of the only people on this planet who has never seen “The Sound of Music” in its entirety. Shocking, yes I know. It makes no sense really as the story line is very appealing to me and the music is, well, timeless. One song in particular was always my favorite – “Climb Every Mountain”.

This song speaks to the quality of perseverance as you pursue your dreams and aspirations. Phrases like “follow every byway, every path you know” leave the listener with little doubt that they are to go through every open door as they seek to become all they can be. The song is uplifting and inspirational and of course with a voice like Julie Andrews singing it, how can it not be?

Let’s fast forward a few decades to a song by Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”, made popular a few years ago. One would think these two songs have nothing in common but if you study the lyrics – their messages are nearly identical with one small difference – how you do the climbing of your mountain.

It’s easy to picture Julie Andrews atop the beautiful Bavarian Alps twirling around with a smile, searching every nook and cranny to follow her heart’s desire. The scene is epic. However, when you hear Miley speak of her mountains, the images are not so rosy. She is struggling, sometimes lost as her faith is challenged.

“The Sound of Music” is based on the Von Trapp family fleeing Nazi rule in Austria; what one might consider an external ‘demon’ – one to flee from as fast as humanly possible. As I listen to the lyrics of “The Climb”, there’s also a demon. This demon – “the voice inside my head” – is perhaps more powerful, not just for Miley, but all of us. While she attempts to run from it, it’s clear by the end of the song that she has accepted the fact that ‘there’s always gonna be another mountain’ and her reaction to this daily obstacle needs to be improved upon.

Today’s world is filled with a plethora of voices – from the nightly news to social media to our own inner circles.  All of them compete for our attention. There are days when one is louder than the other; when breaking news drowns out dinner plans or a critical illness shuts off the TV for a spell. Our attention goes to the “voice du jour” – the squeaky wheel. Our reaction however is likely the same – react as quickly as possible.

The problem with this approach is that it can lead to confusion. We react one way for this mountain and another way for another mountain. Granted, there are times when this is necessary, but knee jerk reactions, unless in a life or death situation, are likely to leave us in a state of regret.


I’m a knee-jerker kinda gal – throw a mountain at me and I’ve got a reaction and/or a solution in minutes. However, while it may feel like we live in caveman times, constantly having to run from danger, we do not. The media tries very hard to make us believe that we do, but I’m certain if Charlie Caveman were to reincarnate now, he’d likely tell us we’ve got it pretty good.

A few years ago, I recognized that I needed another way to deal with the mountains in my life. In short, it was time to retire my knees and rely on something with a bit more longevity than cartilage and bone.

Each morning, I spend my time devoted to nothing other than quieting the competing voices and focusing on One Voice. I’m learning to trust this Voice to rid myself of my reflex-obsessed knee joint so I can handle my ‘mountain du jour’.

It’s during this time that I receive direction for my day. This voice which began as nothing more than a “sense” has grown much clearer and louder as I get to know its Source.

A message that has been coming through loud and clear lately is to “Be Still”. Eeks. This is tough for me – maybe you too? To sit quietly among the chaos and trust that all will be well. What? You mean, don’t react? Do nothing? That’s asking a lot. I suspect God knows it’s time to give my knees a much-needed rest because here’s what I have discovered.

Nearly every time, it’s exactly what I needed to do and when I listened, everything was fine. The mountain was either climbed effortlessly or it simply went away, reduced to pebbles and dirt. My knee joints were saved from the pain and heartache of a chaotic reaction.

As Miley sings, “there’s always gonna be another mountain”. I can either choose to climb it with a Trusted Partner at my side or not. It’s my choice and yours too. I may not have a handsome Captain von Trapp waiting for me at the top, but I suspect something even better will be there if I “follow every byway” and know that “these are the moments I’m gonna remember” just like Julie and Miley tell me.

I encourage you to seek out this Voice, if only for one minute each day. Everyone has one minute to spare. In the early moments when you first awake, consider sending up a prayer of thanks. As you sit in traffic, ask God that burning question – that mountain – you’ve had on your mind. Then wait and listen. You might not hear something right away but if you make this a daily practice, you’ll soon find that your prayers are not only heard, but answered.

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3) 

Jen’s Gem: Spend just one minute each day quieting the voices in your head.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024