Every now and again I get into kind of a funk. I usually write it off as fatigue or hormones, but really I think it has something to do with geography.
We’re planning a trip out west this summer and I’ve noticed my heart longing more and more for mountains and fresh air and flowers that grow for no other reason than the Glory of God. Flowers that exist not because someone bought them at the greenhouse and planted them in their front yard, and not because they were a Mother’s Day gift–as lovely as that is. But just to glorify their creator.
I remember a trip to the Tetons years ago, before children and mortgages, where I learned about those flowers. Our friends convinced us to explore the back-country with them, which, when you’re camping with me, is code for bad weather, torn rain gear, and crappy food. And no toilets. Despite our follies, it remains one of those landmark trips that I love to remember. Even now the memories fool me by erasing the snow [in June] and mud [all over our clothes] with thoughts of mountain lakes unseen by so many and love ablaze around a campfire.
On one of our hikes on a gorgeous Wyoming day in summer’s infancy, my friend stopped and quietly knelt down on the trail. I was waiting for her to point out a mountain goat or announce a rock in her shoe when she whispered amazement at the most unassuming little white flower I’d ever seen. To be honest, I’m not quite sure it wasn’t a weed! But her fingers cradled the petals and she hovered in awe at its simple beauty.
How many people do you think ever come up here? How many people will ever get to see this flower? she asked.
Of course I didn’t know what to say. Was she posing a question or making a point?
Imagine that God made this flower just for his glory!
Wow. That one comment turned my thinking on so many levels. Stop to consider for a moment how many treasured beauties are hidden in the brush, deep in the rainforest, or swimming miles beneath the surface of the sea. None, perhaps, will ever be appreciated by human eye, yet they were created–and live–in their order.
Considering God’s majesty buries me. I cannot comprehend it, but I long to see it.
With our trip drawing closer, I’m starting to feel a pull at my heart that is at the same time familiar and strange. John Denver has a great line in Rocky Mountain High where he describes a young man’s journey like he was ‘Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before…‘ Sometimes I feel that way when I’m in the mountains or at the edge of water. Not a melancholy feeling as if where I live isn’t home, but rather, a feeling of natural ease, refreshment, a spirit that can breathe more deeply. What is it about green? What is it about the pounding cadence of waves? Maybe it’s a different kind of home.
Tonight we’re going to enjoy our own patch of green around our backyard fire pit. I love nights like this: stars scraped away from an indigo canvas, moon bathing us in its light. Friends, family, conversation,…life unplugged. While God kneads my dreams and understands every detail of my longing, I will treasure tonight. Tonight is its own gift while I wait for mountains and yearn for sand.