I lift up my eyes

After 14 hours of travel, only 4 of which was actually on a plane, I finally arrive at Salt Lake City, Utah.  While the city lights shine brightly, the Rocky Mountains are hidden.  I’m very tired from the weary day of travel so I will sleep soon anxious for morning to arrive and the adventures to begin.

With a jacket on to warm me in the morning chill, I walk out of my son’s apartment with the phone to my ear as I tell my husband good morning.  My feet come to a stop and I tell Gary to pause a second.  The beauty overwhelms me.  Such majesty and beauty stands before me as I gaze up at the mountains.  I’m sure the scene becomes mundane for those who see the mountains everyday but for one who is seeing it for the first time, I’m speechless.  Even as we drive around throughout the day, my eyes still trace back to the granite giants standing sentry around Salt Lake City.

It’s afternoon now and Jerad is driving me up into the mountains through the nearest pass which lies only a few miles from his new home.  The road twists and turns as we go about 6 miles in and pull off on a sharp curve.  Our plan is to walk up the trail for a bit, maybe 30 minutes.  The path starts out easy on pavement then quickly changes over to a narrow rocky strewn trail.  Thirty minutes come and go and still we are walking.  We go on for about an hour and a half.  The trail at times is fairly easy but sometimes it is downright challenging.  I don’t want to admit to how many times we have to stop so I could catch my breath and give my calves a rest.

As we travel, we meet many others along the way.  After speaking with two gentleman making their decline, we realize we are only about half way up.  Since we began our trip so late in the afternoon, we decided to turn and trek back down so we won’t be caught on the trail after dark.

Walking down the treacherous trail is at times more difficult than the climb as I must watch every footstep to make sure I don’t turn an ankle or slip and start rolling down the hill.

On the way up we paused often for breaks and snapped many pictures.  On the way down, I am tired, my calves feel a bit quivery, and I am focused on every footfall.  More than once Jerad told me to pause and look up.  I am so focused on the dangers of the trail that I’m missing the beauty God placed around me.

As I stop to look up, my breath catches again not from the exertion but from the beauty.  God, you outdid yourself in the Rockies!

And here in the middle of God’s splendor, my heart is reminded of a great truth.  No matter how difficult this journey of life becomes, God is always there surrounding me with his presence, his beauty, and his might.  Yet too often I keep my eyes focused on the steep climb, the obstacles in the way, and all the ways my feel can slip.

Standing here looking at such beauty with God’s reminder fresh on my heart, I remember the words of Daddy’s favorite verse in Psalms-

hiking1

Lord, your creation as majestic and mighty as it appears is only a dim reflection of your glory!  You are truly awesome and amazing!  Thank you for the beauty your create and for the opportunity to experience a new setting.  Thank you for the reminder to fix my eyes on you and not on the difficulties of the trails.  You, O Lord, are my ever-present help!

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4 Responses

  1. Susan Carroll says:

    I was born and raised in the Salt Lake Valley, and our mountains never gets boring to our eyes. The colors change with the seasons, brown, shades of green, and yellow, orange and red, then frosted with snow. Even the changing light during the day changes the look of our mountains, especially during the sunset. Even traveling up and down the valleys brings new vistas. We love them. My Grandmother Esther came from Missouri and Alabama in her twenties. To her, the mountains always seemed ready to fall on her. But to my Grandmother Jennie, the mountains were part of her home, and she loved to hike to the lakes and waterfalls, and camp in the clean mountain air. She took all of her grandchildren up to hike and camp, and enjoy our beautiful mountains, especially when the summer heat became uncomfortable. We would stay for weeks in the cooler mountains, hiking, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, singing old songs and telling stories. So glad you enjoyed our mountains. Maybe you can stay longer next time.

  2. Stacy says:

    Great reminder! I needed to read this. Stacy

  3. Maree Dee says:

    I love that place. You captured it so well in your writing. I find it breathtaking every single time. A place that I commune with God.

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