Gift #1008: There will be mountains

I’ve not blogged in a while because I’ve been out of town at a conference for work.  I just got back yesterday from Keystone, Colorado.  I was really, really excited to go to a conference in my home state!   Even though I go back to Colorado each year, nothing prepares me for the breath-taking beauty of the mountains.  The second I see them, strange things happen in my heart.  In some ways I feel like I’m seeing them for the first time but then part of my heart feels like I’ve never left them.

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I was higher and deeper in the mountains than I usually go when I vacation in Denver.  We stayed a ski resort at 9000 ft above sea level.  And even in June, we had ice on the car in the morning!  Sweet Colorado!  We traveled roads I haven’t been on since I lived there and I was delighted to find most things exactly as they stayed in my memory.

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The conference is designed with afternoons off so you can explore the area and we were able to hike in the mountains and one day we drove to Loveland Pass to hike on the continental divide.  We had to time it just right in between storms (they usually roll across the mountains each afternoon in June).  Our hike up there was cut short by a storm coming in and the fact that the trail was still snow-covered.  (that brought back memories)  We could stand at the top of the mountain and watch clouds swirl beneath us.  I haven’t been that high up since I moved away.  It was thrilling to see those sights again.

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Being in Colorado brings such piercing joy and poignant sadness at the same time.  While loving every minute I spend there, I also miss it so much that it makes my heart ache.   It’s mitigated somewhat by knowing that I’ll be headed back in about a week for my annual vacation in Denver.  But while I was there nestled in the mountains, I thought about how much God must love this place to have lavished so much beauty upon it.  And I think there must be mountains in heaven.  My favorite picture of heaven is the one C.S. Lewis paints at the end of the Chronicles of Narnia.  The children enter Aslan’s country and are immediately amazed by tall, majestic mountain ranges.  They can run up the mountains as fast as wind without getting tired, they roll down grassy meadows, and we’re told that

“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Being in Colorado reminds me of heaven because I understand that sense of longing and desiring to be back home.  What my heart feels for Colorado is a microcosm of what my soul longs for in God’s presence – to be truly home and never leave.  I’m grateful for the reminders and tastes of heaven that God gives us here to help us anticipate the everlasting joy of His plan.  And of course there will be mountains.

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Blessings to you,

Sarah

PS. The last photo was my view from my hotel room.  I was one blessed girl!

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