Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sorrow comes in many snapshots and in many voices. There is the ring of a phone in the middle of the night. There is a distraught voice crying out with disillusionment in some occurrence in their life. There are the shaky hands trying to accomplish a task that was once second nature. There is the lonely voice that asks "when can I go home?" And the sad answer, "not for four weeks at least." There is the sleeping of one you love that on the surface seems peaceful but disguises the confusion that lies just beneath. The many pictures of sorrow and the many expressions it takes, are probably innumerable dependent on the number of individuals that the earth holds. But this one thing I know, this one thing I cling to is that God holds every tear and every prayer and every groaning uttered by a broken heart close to His Being. And in response He sends the Holy Spirit to be our comfort and guide to take the next step on that most difficult of journeys; the journey we call sorrow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mormon Lake Trail.......So we took a hike in an entirely different area. Our Mormon Lake Trail was in the Holy Cross Wilderness area. So here was the thing; the trail was only 3.2 miles to the final lake, Mormon Lake. The first lake was Lyle Lake. However at the very beginning the air seemed pretty thin. That was when one of our hiking buddies said, "We are starting at 11,000 feet." Well that was a relief, at least I had not developed some rare lung disease just that morning.

The trail was beautiful full of God's surprises like WILDFLOWERS and the new discovery of mushrooms. Even had one of those mushrooms for dinner tonight. Pretty tasty!

So we made it to the first lake, Lyle Lake. We stopped for lunch and could see the trail we had to take across the lake making a steep uphill climb. I kept looking at that and thinking, wow I will need some lungs for that. I was right. Each little stretch took a lot of oxygen (very deep breathing!). That was when the same hiking buddy with his GPS that he is just learning to use announced that we were at around 12,000 feet. But the good news was once at the top of that mountain we started to descend. The bad news was that on the way back we would have to climb up again. Oh well that's life!

Once we got to a certain point and had still not reached Mormon Lake we began to guess where we thought it was. There was another peak just ahead. I thought and we all agreed that the lake was probably on the other side of that peak. When I first thought about it I wasn't sure I wanted to climb another peak. It was 2pm and a firm rule on a hike is you have to get back to where you started if you want to go home.

But being destination minded and with the agreement of those with me we decided to go on. The wonderful surprise was that the trail took a very gentle route over the peak. The lake and being at the top of the world was well worth the trip.

On the way down I thought how much like life the trail was. Often when you look at what is apparently before you, you are not sure if it is something you can tackle. But if you just begin taking the steps necessary one step at a time with the grace of God surrounding you, the trail will often surprise you. God gives you a gentler path than it appeared and rewards you with rest "beside the still waters."

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6: 34

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Sound of Music Trail......A friend and I went on a hike today on a trail that I have renamed "The Sound of Music" trail. The reason I have renamed it is obvious. You reach this certain point where you just tap into your own Julie Andrews and just start singing "The hills are alive with the Sound of Music." Now I have to confess that I have been on many trails in which I have broken into song and twirled just like Julie Andrews. But on this trail it has become a sacred ritual to do so at this one particular point.

The trail that leads you to this point is mostly uphill. So as we sat and had lunch today my friend made the comment that our picnic spot (which has also become a ritual) was lovely but the problem was just getting there. I immediately responded that would be a good sermon title; the problem is just getting there.

My Daddy is still struggling with his health and is still in the hospital. The struggle to get well is often a problem. The end result of wellness may be the point where one breaks forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving. However the journey there is often a problem, a struggle, a heartbreaking journey.

I am truly grateful that for the Christian, wellness is never completely obtained until we reach that "City not made by hands...."! That view will be one in which all of us will take to our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! We will truly break forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving. Yes, sometimes the journey may be difficult. But if these mountains have taught me anything, it is that along the way there are precious creations to see and treasures hidden all around. Each small blessing along the trail gives you strength to take the next step so that you can continue with anticipation to see what God has in store for you next!