A hiking trip to Utah left me unexpectedly with a wealth of spiritual insights, as if God were speaking to me in the rocks.
You enter Arches National Park and then take a drive to the area where you want to get out of the car. The drive is spectacular, worth the trip in itself. Along the way there are three tall rock towers adjacent to each other. To us the structure became The Three Wise Men from the biblical story of the birth of Jesus. Their three heads seemed to us to be topped with crowns or headdresses and they seemed poised to worship. After learning the official name, The Three Gossips, I felt glad to be so grounded in the biblical story that how I see and what I see is shaped by that story.
Having arrived late one afternoon when the park was closing early, we took a trail to an overlook to see the famous Delicate Arch. What we saw was splendid. But the next day we hiked to the arch itself. I even stood under it. Our appreciation of the arch and why it is such a favorite dramatically changed. One could say we went from learning about it to being in it. In the spiritual life the beginning of the life of faith has a luminous and wonderful quality, and yet it is only a shadow of what comes in the journey over time as the truth of the faith becomes a part of you.
Another area of the park was called Petrified Sand Dunes. It looked just like wind-swept dunes of white sand. But geologically they had hardened and rigidified into rock. I felt warned by them to stay loose, open to the winds of the Spirit, never feeling certain that I had learned all there is to learn, never being so sure that I am right that I can’t learn from someone else, and never working so hard to be in control that nothing can be changed.
I found myself the whole time being awed by the majesty of God.
On what is your faith life grounded? What impact does that have on your everyday life?
What spiritual insights have you gained from non-church sources?
“Eternal and Immortal One, You have been our refuge in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, before You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are the Alpha and the Omega” (Psalm 90: 1-2, Nan Merrill, Psalms for Praying).
For further reference:
“O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (See Psalm 8.)
“You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken….You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they flee.…They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.” (See Psalm 104.)