Living on the east coast I rarely get the chance to see mountains, true mountains. We live near the Shenandoah and the Appalachian mountain ranges which have their own unique beauty. Color in the fall, blossoms in the spring and Currier and Ives landscapes in the winter. But on a recent trip to Denver I was reminded of the awesome majesty of true mountains. The snow-capped peaks flank the entire west side of the area.
When we left for Colorado, I was excited to these vistas. To my surprise, the actual state line was rather anti-climactic as the scenery did not change much from our views in Nebraska. The further we drove west, the anticipation began to build. First, the foothills of the Rockies come into sight resembling the eastern mountain ranges, As we got closer, the white ghosts of snow- capped summits slowly rose into view taking my breath away. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the ever changing landscape. My eyes were filled with the sights that must have been the inspiration for lyrics like: “purple mountain majesty” or ” Rocky Mountain High, I see it raining fire in the sky”. I could even hear the angels sing “The mountains declare the glory of God.”
When we arrived to the city of Denver, the sites of the city quickly consumed my view. The new baseball stadium, quaint café squares adorned with statues and fountains, remodeled antique store fronts contrasted with shiny modern architecture and many more sights diverted my focus from the beautiful landscapes in the distance. I loved the sights of the city, but they completely distracted me from the splendor of the mountains in the distance.
Then it struck me, how much is this like my daily life? I often spend devotional time in the morning when I lift my eyes vertically to the Lord and am refreshed with His power and glory. But when I leave my devotional time and jump into my day, I become consumed with the horizontal demands and sites close at hand.
God is like those mountains that surround the west side of Denver. He is always there watching, waiting and offering strength and refreshment. When we look vertically to Him, we are aware of His presence but many times our thoughts and view are consumed with our horizontal daily demands.
We are called to lift our eyes, vertically to the hills from where our help comes.
Psalm 121: 1,2 I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
It is the Lord who endows us with strength empowering us to reach out horizontally to others.
Oh Lord our Lord, How Majestic is your name in all the earth. As I seek to serve you daily, help me to focus on the glory of your vertical insights that will strengthen and guide me in my horizontal demands.