Yesterday my family and I made our annual pilgrimage to the mountains. Labor Day usually consists of a mountain stream and great fried chicken. I will tell you now that my wife is an incredible cook. Her fried chicken is second to none!
This year we explored new territory as we settle into our new home in Rio Rancho. Approximately an hour away from my house there are tremendous national parks along with incredible opportunities for hiking up and down valleys and hilltops. We parked the car, ate some good southern food, and began our quarter mile journey down to a place where the mountain stream emptied itself into a beautiful ravine complete with a waterfall.
The water was cold and very inviting. The four of us took off our shoes and began to wade in the water. My toes were so cold that I thought each one would freeze off. I sat on a rock that was at the very top of the waterfall. We were playing near a 100 foot drop into a reservoir below. Of course, my youngest son was not allowed to join me so close to the falls. It was way too risky for him. He just played a little further back in the stream with my wife. My oldest son sat with me near the edge of the falls. All fears and anxieties seemed to give way as we enjoyed gazing into the falling water as it fell upon the rocks below.
I love being surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. The air is crisp and the hiking trails give way to breathtaking views that startle the imagination and reinvigorate the soul. I still sometimes find it hard to believe that I live near such incredible scenery. It is safe to say that where I live today is quite different than the coastline of my youth. When I moved to New Mexico I realized that I needed two things in my life. I must have mountains and stars. Houston did not afford me those necessities.
My faith is expressed in ways that are very similar to how I feel concerning the wonderful mountain landscape. The majesty of God woos me into beauty. Sometimes I am unable to see the wonder that is just around the corner, but I know that if I continue on my journey I will experience a connection to the Divine that I never knew existed. As I draw strength from the One who brings water that will feed my spirit I stand in awe of the endless possibilities. It is at the stream of life that I find renewal of spirit and great joy. It is surrounded by the presence of God that I find hope. God invites all of us to the water to be renewed and made whole.