Today as I left work, I set my out-of-office reply, on nine different email accounts, to read “I will be out of the office until further notice with no access to email, telephone, radio, or Morse-code communications.” This message is posted once a year (when possible); and it is liberating. My leave form, a formal legal contract between myself and the US Government, has my Leave Destination listed as a trailhead (and, no, I am not going to tell you which one).
By the time you read this, I will be in the middle of the Pecos National Wilderness sitting the hurricane deck of an Idaho mountain horse I have never seen, exploring God’s Creation as He meant it. In a tangible, first-hand, sight-smell-sound-spiritual, sort of way.
For the next seven days, I will commune with nature, talk to Jesus, make memories, and continue a tradition as old as the stories of my family.
My Grandfather’s church was a mountain. Or a marsh. Or a meadow. He was a scientist. A wildlife biologist and a conservationist. He believed that religion got in the way of Creation and therefore refused to step inside a church, save for weddings and some funerals. His cathedrals were alpine cirques in which Rocky Mountain Sheep and marmots caroused and played. His altars were the snow-capped Wind River and Medicine Bow Mountain Ranges of his native Wyoming. He sought God where God was; and somehow he understood that Jesus was his Salvation.
Thus he taught me, in his way, to respect the Creator, to understand our Dominion, and to conserve that which is granted us by Divine Proclamation.
I have recognized, though, that I do need religion. Still, whenever life allows, I head to the high country. God’s Country. This year I had the fortune to draw an elk tag, along with my brother-in-law from Idaho, in the Pecos Wilderness. Tomorrow, I meet Alan and his pack mules and we will go where the job cannot find me. We will camp and explore and frolic (yes, I said frolic, as if I were a child; for that is how I will feel - giddy and liberated).
I will use this hunt as an excuse. Not only a selfish excuse to leave our crazy world behind for a little bit, but also as a spiritual excuse to be closer to my Creator and my Savior. When my church is the mountain, there are no emails; there are no phone calls; there are no interruptions; there are no excuses.
I must face my God as who I am, for I am stripped of the trappings of busy-ness and modernity.
I am humbled by those things greater than myself and I am forced to reflect on my shortcomings and my strengths. Generally, the list of the former is significantly longer than the latter.
This is how my family has lived, worked, and worshipped for generations. I learned these things from my Granddad, an unlikely minister, as he had learned them from his. So it has been passed, commune with the Creator, from generation to generation. And so, too, shall my children learn of His wonder, within His Splendor.
They will, with God’s Grace, learn the power of walking away in order to walk toward a personal relationship that I can only tell them about but they must experience.
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There are some immediate needs in the Food Pantry. We are in need of soup, rice, tuna, jelly and canned/boxed milk. Please take note of the expiration date when you are donating. Thank you!
Ladies, the Women’s Serving Team is hosting Sips and Salads (an evening version of Mugs & Muffins) on Tuesday, June 19th from 6pm-9pm. Emily Gray will be speaking about “Waiting on God.” It is sure to be an amazing evening of fellowship, scripture, food and sharing. We hope you will join us. This is a potluck event so please RSVP to Elizabeth to let her know you can attend and if there is a dish you would like to contribute!
Women, are you looking for a way to stay in the Word this summer? We have two studies looking at the Gospel of John. Contact Elizabeth for more information about either of these studies (below).
- Beginning Wednesday, June 6th at 5:30 p.m. we will begin a 12-week study by Justin Buzzard. This is part of the Knowing the Bible Series edited by J. I. Packer. Cost is $10.
- If you are looking for a morning study, we will begin discussion on the Gospel of John on Monday, June 11th at 10 a.m. No cost, just bring your Bible and read with us.
Missionaries Return from Bolivia
Check out the story, Missionaries Return from Bolivia that ran in the East Mountain Telegraph, April 6th, 2017.