Monday, April 26, 2010
On Saturday I went out into nature and walked. I needed to surround myself with His beauty and serenity, to just be still and surround myself with Him. The brilliant colors that filled my sight spoke of his love, while the scents that filled the air wrapped themselves around me and became complete delight. Sounds of pure life swirled all around me, reminding me that I am not alone in this heaven on Earth He has created for our enjoyment. As I walked I happened to look up at the perfect moment and I found a trail that led up a mountain. Ok, it was a very large hill, but while actually climbing it, it felt like a mountain. Insert more exercise here! So, I climbed that trail to the top, taking my time, watching my feet take each step carefully, and struggling most of the way. But yet I persevered, and I reached the top...to be rewarded with a completely breath-taking view of His work. It literally took my breath away.
So I sat...to soak up the magnitude of the view... and this precious gift God was giving me in the ability to fully experience that moment, through sight, through smell, through sound, and through knowing my creator was showing me this because He loves me. As I sat, I watched people walk by below. I could see them, but unless they turned to me, they could not see me. And I felt like shouting to each of them, please come and see this, see what I am seeing. Please! You don't know what you are walking past. That narrow path down there will take you to complete beauty, but you must turn your focus from your path and look up. But they just continued on their ways, not even aware of what they were missing.
Then a group of young children came by, their mother in tow, and they looked up! Yay, they looked up! They saw that path and the joy on their faces at the thought of climbing this mountain was evident. They were eager to make the journey, because they could see that it would be worth it. So two of them started sprinting up the hill, but only to be called back by their mother. Their delight quickly became disappointment. They stopped and they looked up again, and they saw me...and they smiled a sad smile. As they walked back down the path, their eyes kept returning to mine, wanting to see what I was seeing, needing to see what I was seeing. And I held their gazes, because I so wanted them to see what I was seeing.
I sat for a while longer, soaking up His goodness, and then I headed back down. The trail back down was so very slippery and took all of my focus away from the beauty as I struggled to keep my balance. It took only a few minutes to reach the bottom, even though the climb had taken much longer.
Since that climb I keep returning to the thought of how different God's perspective is, from above and interwoven in to the very fabric of all living things. He must sit up on the mountain and watch as we go by, making choices that lead us to miss Him. Not choosing to look up. Not choosing to see Him, to KNOW Him. Not knowing that He is there shouting to us, saying "Please...come to me. Choose me!" And even those who do look up and start the climb stagger so easily and fall back to their own ways. Not realizing that if they were to make the climb, true glory in Christ would become them.
This is not to say the climb is easy, because it is also laden with a need for obedience that is not of this world. You must choose every single step of the way to die to your old self, shedding a layer with every step that stretches our muscles and strengthens us. Every step is a choice. Every decision we make brings us either closer to God or further away from Him. And this is not because He is moving toward us or moving away from us. He is constant, he is within us, always present, truly omniscient. It is our sin and self-flagellation that moves us away from Him. It is our choices. It is the most amazing gift God has given each and every one of us ~ Free Will. That we have the ability to choose good or evil, light or darkness. Nothing is random, and every event constitutes a choice ~ that is God's awesome grace. Because He will not force our hand. He will gently offer a better way, but He will not force us to come to Him, to continue up the mountain. We must make that choice. We must choose to take each step and with each step strengthen our faith and turn to Him and trust Him and be obedient to His ways. Or we will just stagger back and end up back at the bottom, knowing we are missing something wonderful.
Lord I pray that you steady my steps and continue to gently lead my footsteps up to you. Your Word is my comfort, your love my peace, your grace my hope. Thank you for your glory Father and for sharing your beauty with me. I choose to be obedient to your ways, as they are the way to true freedom and love. I choose to trust You as the awesome provider you are, to rest in Your love. My choice is You. In Yeshua's name I praise you Father. Amen.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.