Thursday, July 23, 2015

MOUNTAIN TRAILS

My feet recline on this comfy, old couch. But in my mind, the same feet are moving, finding their way onto a trail. Mountainous terrain dwell under the umbrella of stark blue sky. Thunderclouds off in the distance build momentum, chock-full of promise. The scent of pine fills my nostrils, and I breathe in deep. The higher elevation and clean air demand it. I hear the roar of a waterfall around the bend. And these feet, they cannot wait to feel the icy wet shock hit them. One foot in front of the other, always on the lookout for some form of wildlife.

I feel wildly free myself. No walls to confine me. Surrounded, swallowed up by His jaw-dropping creative work. I can almost taste it. Every sense in me is coming alive.

The mountain treks I have taken, still so fresh in my mind, they hold a healing element. Calming, cathartic, liberating.

There's a holiness to them, too. Nothing humbles a soul like being at the mercy of God, smack in the middle of His powerful creation. One wrong move, and the path that seems so benign sends you reeling hundreds of feet. A warm summer day meets with a sudden, unexpected shift in the air. Lightning, torrential rains, hail, even snow appear out of nowhere. The bear, mountain lion, and rattler ~ all look so regal and beautiful from a distance. But a close encounter can be a deadly one.

I wiggle my toes, bringing my mind back to this couch and the four walls surrounding me. Ah, safe and sound.

But I have to wonder. What am I missing? Is it really so safe to play it safe ~ and only reminisce about my trail days? What if I am missing out on holy ground, that humbling awe of God in the midst of His most breathtaking splendor?

I don't have answers. This couch, it can be holy ground, too. Any place we experience God in some shape or fashion ~ that is holy ground.

The question lingering in my mind is like cold water on my face ~ what would it be like to take to the trails again? How would it be different this time around? What part of God would I experience that I just don't encounter on this comfy, old couch?

I look out my window. The mountains off in the distance, they beckon me! I sigh in wonder if I'll ever find my feet back on the trail.

And this couch? It no longer feels so comfortable.

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." ~John Muir


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