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(Thanks to my friend, Wayne Richards, for being a good sport and letting me post this!)
My son, Wes and I visited my brother, Steve in
After marveling at a cascading waterfall, climbing a few rocks, and picnicking by a beautiful mountain stream, Steve said, “Now, let me show you something cool!”
We ventured upon an old logging road, and were soon far beyond the tourists. I’m glad Steve was driving and knew where he was going, because I was lost within the first twenty minutes.
We veered off the logging road and up a craggy dirt path, filled with potholes and rocks. Someone should make a commercial about the durability of Steve’s minivan: “Built Dodge Tough!”
The journey was treacherous. I gasped, held my breath and cringed on several occasions. Steve just laughed and kept on trucking up the road.
When we finally reached the summit, after a long bouncing, I finally understood. The spectacular panorama made it all worthwhile!
Then, after a few minutes of soaking in the splendor of creation, we hopped back in the minivan, and headed back down the hill.
Reflecting later, I realized something important: You can’t reach a mountain top without a challenging climb. You’ll never have a mountaintop experience if you’re not willing to take the uphill journey. Mountains always include valleys. After the struggle, the view is spectacular.
I also recalled the words of my favorite English poet, William Blake, who said, “Great things happen when men and mountains meet.”
My trip up the mountain gave me a fresh perspective of Moses who scaled Sinai to hear from his Creator, and then climbed Nebo, where God finally brought him home. There is a close connection between mountain tops and heaven.
Some places are sacred spaces. The
Driving by a few days later, we shook our heads and sadly recalled how beautiful the land used to be.
I grumbled against the wind.
Good hearted loggers tried to clean it up a bit -- by clearing some of the windfall. Their honest efforts,
I drove by, shook my head, and grumbled against the loggers.
The burning followed. How the fire started is still a puzzle -- perhaps a lightening strike, an engine spark, or a careless cigarette. Regardless of the start, it took the firefighting volunteers a full effort for the finish. Acres of charred stubble marred the landscape.
I grumbled against the fire.
But passing time has a way of healing scarred soil and human hearts. From blackened ground, new life emerges.
Before dinner that evening, we bowed our heads, thanked God for the berries and