What a life.
June 29, 2012, 2:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

After talking to my dad a bit last night about why I love camping, I got the bug. I had to get out. The night was clear, almost windless, with a forecast low of 52 degrees.  A perfect night to be spent with the stars.   I decided to spend the night on the summit of a small mountain outside of town. Prime stargazing.

I didn’t get to the trailhead until 10:30 or so and got right to hiking. The hike in takes about an hour and after 20 minutes I realized that I had forgotten to bring a sleeping pad. I thought long and hard about whether I needed it… I had to go back for the sleeping pad.

OK, take two.  Its 10:57, windless, not a cloud in the sky and I’m setting off from the car, with my sleeping pad.  The hike isnt long but it feels long at night. Every little creature rustling through last fall leaves gives a me a little scare. Each step feeds the anticipation to summit, set up camp, kill my head lamp and enjoy the show. A different kind of night life.

After reaching the summit I quickly unroll my pad, unstuff my sleeping bag and unpack the pillow (creature comforts. ya know?). Now that everything is in place I can settle in for the view. I kill the light.

With the absence of my headlamp my eyes begin slowly to adjust and the night comes to life.  The stars allow for no blank space, overwhelming the canvass of black sky. The mountains; silhouetted black.  Every few minutes I catch sight of a satellite whizzing across the night sky. This is living.

The night is colder than I expected so it isn’t long before I throw on some long johns and settle into my bag for the night. As I lay there I try and try to simply grasp the size of the earth, to imagine exploring every inch of the lush masterpiece of a planet we get to inhabit.  Then I try with all my mental capacity to grasp the size of the stars, dwarfing the earth like dust, by the millions. I can’t even comprehend…but I am surely astounded.  When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of him?

I saw two shooting stars before I faded off and awoke to the rising sun.  To the west I watched  the shadows receding on the mountains before I could actually see the sun rising.  After 45 minutes or so I could wait no longer so I got up to see the show. Magnificent.  All alone I soaked it all in;  the mountains in the east still silhouetted black in contrast to the radiant glow of the rising sun.  I love silhouettes. Something about a mountain ridge boldly standing black in contrast to a blue or gold back drop is incredibly beautiful.

I was still a bit tired so I went back to bed for a couple hours until the warmth of the sun was simply too much to bare inside my bag.  I got up and spent some time taking in the beauty of the expansive views before I packed up and headed out.

After reaching the parking lot I went down to a cold mountain lake nearby, did some swimming and read while my trunks dried, reflecting on the glory of it all.  I never regret getting out in it.

I don’t want to speculate too much or labor Gods intentions into the small faculties of my mind but I think this all means something. There is no possibility the sunrise, the soft breeze and falling stars are there by accident, or random chance.  They are creative. They are there to communicate something profound.  The Bible says, straight up, Gods mercies are new every morning.  Although the words are easily skipped over, the concept is astounding.  Every new day God welcomes us to dive deeper and sail higher into the depths and heights of His love.  I think it really points to the fact that God is ever-posed to forgive and work with us to move on, to progress.  His mercy was new when I woke up on top of the mountain today and He put on a show to prove it.  I really do think that all the majesty of the stars, sunrise and silhouettes are trying desperately to communicate the simple concept that today God wants you to let go of everything behind and fall for Him anew. I don’t want to miss this.  I want to reflect the daily renewal of God’s mercy for me and recognize the signs of His grace.  I don’t want to be the same today.  I want to bask in the depths of his gracious love and never return to shore.


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