The climax (from the Greek word “κλῖμαξ” (klimax) meaning “staircase” and “ladder”) or turning point of a narrative work is its point of highest tension or drama or when the action starts in which the solution is given.
We've recently been discussing plot with the 4th graders on our campus. We have been using a graphic of a mountain to help the students understand the elements of plot.
It all starts with a problem at the base of the mountain. Then climbing up the mountain is your rising action. The peak of the mountain represents the climax or turning point of the story. Then it's "all downhill" until you reach the resolution.
I know that real life doesn't always follow the "rules", but every time I think I've reached the climax of my current situation, I look up and realize I'm not even close yet. It's like this mountain keeps stretching taller when I'm not looking.
I feel so exhausted from the climb. I always feel like giving up. Sometimes I just want to stop right where I am, but it doesn't take me long to figure out that this isn't where I want or need to be. So, I look back down the mountain. It's always VERY tempting to head on back down. It would be pretty easy to do. But then again, I've worked so hard to get here and I just can't imagine letting all of that hard work go to waste! Besides, my problem is still down there at the bottom so I'm just going to have to start all over again eventually. And sometimes that thought makes me feel very bitter. What choice do I have? It's not fair.
Sometimes I get stuck right there, maybe for a little time, but I'm embarrassed to admit that sometimes I let it last way too long. Sometimes I've been stuck so long that I look around and I'm not even sure where I am or where I'm going anymore.
I always end up deciding to move forward. I guess I'm just that kind of gal. I push forward, head down, trying to get where I need to be. But as I mentioned, I don't seem to be reaching the top. I continue to do the same thing even though it hasn't been working out for me. Because I think it's what's right? Because I think it's what other people want me to do? Because I don't know what else to do? I really don't know.
But now that I think about it, there's probably more than one path up the mountain. And there's probably no shame in having to head back a little if it means finding a more suitable path. Even if I had to start completely over, I would have learned so much about climbing mountains that I would have a better idea of what to do next time. Some patience might be helpful as well.
Most of all, I realize that I haven't been using my resources very wisely. I haven't been humble enough to seek out my Heavenly Father's plan for me. I haven't had faith in the process. I've lamented for not knowing what to do, but I haven't even asked. Now, that's just plain silly when I really think about it.
Now that I know, I can't continue on this road. I'm not sure what I will do just yet. I need to get on my knees and ask.