"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Those Majestic Mountains

Yesterday I flew over the Rocky Mountains on my way to Colorado Springs for the When War Comes Home Don't Retreat.  I've seen those mountains hundreds of times, from the air and on the ground.  I grew up near them and every summer I backpacked in them, I rappelled in them, I didn't shower for a week in them.  I've driven through many of the passes and reached some pretty high peaks.  I felt like I was seeing them for the first time yesterday but not because of their beauty.

As I looked down from my cramped window seat my brain registered "Oh, the Rockies."  My soul registered something else.  I did not see the mountains in all their grandeur, I saw what looked nothing more than a green velvet (or velour!) blanket, stretched over a bed lumpy with feet, shins and knees.  Those mountains did not look intimidating, huge, scary, or insurmountable.  Furthermore, I could see miles of flat farmland on both sides of the mountains.  I've often imagined the pioneers traveling flat mile after mile until they reach the foot of one of the mountains and are faced with the fear of how to get over such a massive obstacle, something they've never encountered and maybe were totally unprepared for.  Suddenly I was able to see my life as God must see it.  He can see the obstacles but to him they are a sort of lumpy bed.  He can see the beginning and the ending of the obstacle, even if it stretches from Mexico to Canada.  He can see what is on both sides of the obstacle.  From the ground my life seems to be an endless mountain chain.  Tiny little me, standing at the foot of a behemoth; I can't even see the top or the sides.  One mountain and valley after another and I can't go around the chain; I have to go through.  The reality is that in the grand scheme from the air, the mountains really aren't that big after all.  There is a beginning and end.  There is flat land on both sides, even if I can't see it.  There is peace in knowing my struggles and obstacles have an end and that the One with the Plan has flat land ahead.


  1. Thanks for the continued updates. You brought back memories of those backpacks with you. Remember you and Stacy falling fast asleep in the back of the car - and I'm supposed to stay awake to get us home?

  2. I do remember and now I'm the one who has to stay awake so I can keep Don awake! I spoke with Stacy at Christmas over the phone but haven't seen her since graduation. 20 years this summer, yikes! She is well, married since graduation and three kids.