There is a lake next to this campground that I’ve been to at least 15 times. It takes about 7 miles of difficult, rocky trail to get to. Often the weather can be stormy with winds and rains making the area less than calm. But one morning, everything was perfectly calm allowing for this uncommonly beautiful view of the sky, mountain, and the lake. This image reminds me of Genesis 1:9:
“Then God said: Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear. And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared.”Genesis 1:9
Although God created the dry land in a day, due to geology the Adirondack Mountains were created over thousands and thousands of years. Since I’ve been to this lake so many times, rarely do I appreciate how the mountain seems to be coming right out of the lake. However, on this peaceful morning, I could rest in the good weather and appreciate that goodness of God’s creation.
In the distance are the tallest mountains in Wyoming. The hike in takes days and ends with this very challenging stretch of refrigerator and car size boulders. In the lower right you can see two of my hiking partners. Our goal for this trip was to go to the top of Gannet Peak, 13,810 ft. Although this mountain was particularly tall and challenging, every time I hike up a mountain I think of Isaiah 2:3, “Come, let us go up to the LORD’s mountain”. Throughout the Bible, and the Old Testament in particular, people go up mountains to have an intimate experience of God. Most clearly seen in Moses going up Mount Sinai, mountains provide a challenge to get to God that is often rewarded with isolation from people, yet intimacy with God. A “mountain-top experience” in the truest sense.
Going up mountains requires patience, bodily and mental strength, determination, planning, and accepting the unknown. The faith journey requires a similar all encompassing commitment. And although there may be some mountain-top experiences, we must remember that our ultimate destination must always be heaven.
friar Nick Rokitka OFM Conv.