Getting Alone

Here's a vivid memory.

I'd driven halfway across the country to make a solo backpacking excursion in Wyoming's Wind River Range. After hiking 11 or so miles with a heavy pack on the first day, I ended up here.

I spent 6 days alone in the mountains on that trip, covering approximately 42 miles. I experienced thunder-snowstorms at 12,000 feet for the first time. I spent three days (shared only with a coyote as evidenced by tracks in the fresh snow) in a basin that is the equal of anything in The Lord of the Rings for sheer grandeur. I climbed a thousand feet in treacherous conditions to come within view of Gannett Peak, only to turn back because of the weather and the extreme risk it brought.

Being there alone was an incredibly powerful experience.

I can say for certain that I've never "felt" the tangible presence of God as I did during that time. Not in church, not in a worship service and not during a sermon. Of course, all those things are good in their proper place. But like anything, they can also impede our experiencing the magnitude of God's plan.

It seems I must get away - really away - in order to empty my consciousness of all the detritus, daily cares and temporal concerns that regularly harass me. It is then that perhaps I am able to see more clearly - maybe even come to "know" a few things.

Father, help me to remember today what by your Spirit I knew then.


Anonymous said...

Alone..sometimes is scarey..You wonder what the point of existence is really..

Mike Aleckson said...

Well, of course in the Christian worldview, the point of existence is the Kingdom of God - heaven on earth.

As we've discussed a few times around here - Jesus didn't teach us to pray "take us away from this mean old world to someplace out in space...". Rather - he taught us to pray "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

Essentially - Christians who really think hard have come to realize that Christianity is all about Messiah Jesus bringing heaven to earth on that great day when he returns. That day is of course prophesied about all over the latter part of the Old Testament, it's spoken of frequently in the gospels and the epistles, and it's painted in Technicolor in the last few chapters of Revelation.

After my mom died, and with my dad's ALS diagnosis - I really am hoping for and waiting for, with great intensity and expectation, the second coming of Messiah. The Resurrection... Mom, Dad and all the rest of us living forever on a rejuvenated Earth. Death no longer a threat.... Awesome.

The trick, of course, is continuing to believe the above in the face of every day's trials. Not an easy proposition!