|Mt. Rainier, Washington State|
I adore exploring the northwest from the backseat of our Honda Shadow.
Now, don't get me wrong. The entire middle of my field of vision is blocked by someone's big head and helmet. But other than that, I have a wonderful view, ringside as they say, of the beauty we are so happy to explore.
On a recent trip, we took a rather long ride from Yakima over Highway 410 to Puyallup. We then came back to Yakima on Highway 12. If you count miles, it is way too many for one day of riding. I was feeling it. No, I was not feeling it, as certain body parts stayed continually numb.
But that wasn't the point. What was important was my view - gorgeous scenes of Mt. Rainier, forests, rivers and streams, Mt. St. Helens, farmlands, meadows, and more. The weather was slightly warm by mid-afternoon and completely heated our frozen bodies from the early morning going-over-the-pass cold temperatures.
As we aimed for home, headed up White Pass, I kept a keen gaze glued to the north side of our path. There are some pretty exceptional scenic views of Mt. Rainier from Highway 12, and I didn't want to miss them.
I looked and enjoyed. It seemed odd, but there didn't seem to be as many as I had thought. No, the mountain in all of it's snow capped glory had not moved. (Whew, right?) But the multiple views were just not happening. Clouds, traffic, trees, buildings, curving roads - all conspired against my efforts.
I knew Mt. Rainier was there. I knew it has not skipped town for colder spots unknown. It was there, stately, majestic, and awe-inspiring. I just couldn't see it.
And then it hit me.
Isn't my relationship with God sometimes like that?
I know He is there. I traipse along, bebopping with my busy life. Sometimes when I glance over, looking for the sight of Him where He has always been, I don't see Him. Where did He go? Why can't I see Him? Has He left, vacated the premises? I keep on traveling, glancing to the sides of my path, hoping to catch a glimpse.
In all of His glory, majesty, power, and beauty, He has not moved. He hasn't packed up and skipped town. Nor has He tired of my whining or forgetfulness or lack of faith. He is there, right where He has always been.
But me? I've let the trees and clouds and traffic of life put up filters and screens that block my view of my God. It's totally my fault.
Yet I don't need to fear or worry. God is not going anywhere. He will always be there, even when I can't see Him. I can rest, knowing that He is right there, just beyond the trees. Right where I know He is.
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)