Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. Part 2

Arriving at the summit area, I drove to the nearly deserted parking lot and looked ‘down’ on the world. Gone were the valleys and hills, cities, and towns. Instead of seeing the vast vista of miles and miles in every direction, I could only see the clouds and fog blocking everything below.

I was at the top. I had reached my goal, but it hadn’t revealed all I had hoped for.  Instead of seeing with great clarity and perspective, I was limited to only what was immediately around me. My view was restricted, fogged in.

What a bummer!

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

I made my way around the summit area, taking pictures and hoping for the clouds and fog to part, but after about 45 minutes I gave up. Asking God for his presence. For some kind of clarification on the path before me in life.

Mt. Washington Summit

I heard the wind blowing, I felt the chill in the air and my breath frosting in the breeze.. but nothing else.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

I drove down the mountain road slowly, carefully. The twisting turns and sharp corners demanding all of my attention, one distracted moment and I could be over the edge.  I could only navigate the space directly in front of me, not distracted by the wonderful horizon, just concentrating on the space ahead.

God was speaking. It was time to slow down. To pay attention to where I was. Not where I might be going or where I had been. He was subtly reminding me that even though the fog and clouds were thick and blocking my view of the horizon, I knew those beautiful vistas were still down there. I knew that the towns and cities below were there regardless of what I could see in the moment.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

God often gently prompts us to live in the ‘today’. To avoid the temptation to look way forward or way back. Just focus on the now. When your life is full of fog, it’s important to trust him for the future, and accept his grace for the past.  

When your life is filled with fog, pay attention to the steps you can see clearly. The stuff immediately in front of you, wait for Him to show you more – He will… when he knows we’re ready. The waiting is the point sometimes. Faith grows during the ‘unknown’s of our life, trust is gained when we believe even when the fog of life obscures our sight.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I just wanted God to be my personal ‘oracle’. A personal crystal ball that I could go to for answers when I felt lost or discouraged. I wasn’t nearly as interested in the relationship we share, but in the comfort and guidance he was offering.

God is there for me/us, but how we approach His presence will make a huge difference.  I was looking for answers, solutions to my problems… and I made the time and effort to come to seek Him out, but instead of focusing on HIM, my attention was completely wrapped up with ‘me’. 

We have to remember… for the Christian, God does indeed have a plan, our life is in his hands. Learning to trust His plan and timing is the pilgrim’s path, and we are all on various stages and ages of that journey. Let’s agree that when the time is right, He will clear the clouds and reveal what we need to know.

Until then… we learn to rest.

Pastor B.

PS – the next few days would review a nearly identical pattern of fog, clouds, and obscured views. God was speaking, but it took me some time to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ what was being said to me. Only after I got back did it come into perspective. Sometimes we have to be patient. God is speaking… we have to learn to listen.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably.

Just recently spent a week alone with God to get my head straight. I felt led by the Holy Spirit to go to a ‘new’ place… somewhere brand new and undiscovered. An unfamiliar area with unfamiliar people, places… ways.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably.

In search of solitude with God… I had it all planned out. Even printed my schedule out.  Not even close to what would be.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably.

I had explored Mt. Washington in the eastern New Hampshire area years before, but never alone. I was excited to be driving up the mountain at dawn to see the sights. An epic drive with serious terrain, this elevation would provide views unlike anything else in New England. Sticking up out of the modest White mountain chain, Washington was a Rockies like 6,288 ft in height. It’s elevation so extreme from the valley below it included over a thousand feet of tundra and high altitude small growth – short season flowers and evergreens.

Mt. Washington NH

It’s top was bare rock face. Blasted free from any vegetation by the near hurricane force winds that roll over its massive top on a daily basis. Known as one of the windiest places on earth and holding the record for highest recorded wind gust for most of the 20th century… this peak had some juice. (For more on Mt. Washington)

When I wound my way up its alpine slopes, the scene grew from forested and peaceful to wide open vistas of valley and sky. This was going to be a promising day, I was getting excited to see the top. To gaze across the mountain ranges and most of the New England states, maybe if the light was just right… I could even get a glimpse of the Atlantic (about 65 miles to the south-east)

Mt. Washington Selfie – Pastor B.

That was the goal anyway. To see further. To gain perspective and clarity. My trip was meant to give some clarity on the future, on the path and plan God would have me follow. These mountain experiences were sort of metaphor for the actual life events around me and on me.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

As I drove higher the vistas grew hazy and the clouds and fog thicker, my view was being obscured by the weather. What only a moment before had been sky blue for dozens of miles was now hidden, and my winding road showed more and more fog and cloud ahead. My hope for a clear summit on the top was fading.

Road to the top

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

It’s clear in retrospect that God was speaking to me loud and clear on this road trip, BUT… in the moment, I just felt frustrated, alone, and isolated. I had made all this effort to put myself in just the right place and time to hear and see God. But he it seemed had other plans.

My expectation was for clear skies, a warm glow of spiritual presence… followed by a sudden and keen transfer of divine inspiration, and a spark of new confidence for the next season of life.

His plan was different. He was going take me a different path, and He chose to slow me down and shift my perspective from the future to the past, to somewhere more personal.

Symbolic. Prophetic. Probably. 

Part 2, tomorrow.

What did I find at the top of Mt. Washington & Why does it matter….?

Pastor B.