As I mentioned in my last post, a few weeks ago I was very excited to spend some vacation time wandering the mountains of Southern Idaho. On our first full day I decided to head out in the morning with my camera and a few snacks and see what needed to be seen. I took what looked like an old atv trail down a few miles until the trail dead ended into a large rock wall. I looked around and figured out a path that would take me around the rock wall to the top of the mountain and started climbing.
At this point I was pretty frustrated because I had purposefully set out to have a great conversation with God, and it really wasn’t happening. My mind was filled with song lyrics, responsibilities back home, thoughts of a ladyfriend, you know, the usual noise. I had shown up to talk with God and I felt like He was taking His time to get there.
As I finally made it to the top of the rock formation I took a break, sat down and opened up my bible and started read. I had too much energy and too much blood pumping through my veins to sit still enough to pay attention to the word. I packed up my bag, got up and started peaking over the other side of the mountain to see what path I could take. As I was walking along the ridge line, I stepped onto a stack of pine needles, lost my footing, and started sliding down the hill. I figured laying down would bring me to stop, but it took a few feet longer than I had imagined. I panicked. I finally got my footing and realized I was almost vertical on the back side of the rock wall. I looked down and saw a pretty decent drop off and realized I was a good 30 feet above the base of the rock. By the way, I am terrified of heights. I looked up and tried to find a way to climb but I couldn’t get a good hold. I was stuck.
There are certain moments when God shows up in a hurry. This was one of them. All of the unimportant things that had been occupying my mind were suddenly nowhere to be found. I took a deep breath and relaxed for a second, and spent some time in very concentrated prayer. I haven’t prayed like that in a while. There’s something special about an ‘I don’t want to die’ prayer. I had a nice short conversation with God, letting Him know that He had my full, undivided attention, and I would be more than willing to listen to whatever he felt like putting on my heart.
I was ready to talk.
I took another breath and looked around. The rock face was grated at an angle, so I started scooting down. I stayed focused on one side-step at a time. The world slowed down to the simplest tasks: move hand, move foot, move other hand, move other foot, breathe. After a few minutes of scooting across the face of the rocks I came to a tree branch that was in my way. I wrapped my arms around the branch and slid down a few feet until I was in place where I felt like it was okay to jump down. I landed safely, rolled a bit, and then stood up victoriously. I may have even done the Rocky fist pump, I can’t really remember.
The point is, sometimes it takes something drastic for God to get my attention. I had been frustrated with God for not showing up to converse when it was me that was filled with distractions.It’s the same thing I do back home. I was trying to fit God into my schedule, call on Him when it was convenient for me, and then expect him to greet me like some cosmic butler. It wasn’t until panic had cleared all of the other stuff away that I was able to see that God was already there. I imagined Him chuckling because now that I was okay I would probably be a lot more likely to listen to him. It reminded me of all of the times as a kid my parents would let me do something the hard (or the ‘dj’) way so that I would pay more attention to them later.
So I listened to God. The things on my mind were important, but they could wait. This time was to relax and simplify. I didn’t need to worry about if God would show up, He was there waiting for me.
The next few days were much less dramatic. I stopped more frequently on hikes to take in the views, paid more attention to the details of the wilderness, and spent more time letting God speak to my heart. I also stayed on the trails.
It’s been hard to adjust to coming back from this trip. I’m constantly surrounded by noise of some sort. I get frustrated because it feels like God is distant sometimes, and it takes there drastic moments to calm down enough to hear Him clearly. So the new quest is to seek these moments with God without the 30 drop.
One love, One heart.