"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
I just viewed photos that my friend Chris Reidinger took from atop Mt. Sneffels, a fourteen-thousand-foot peak that lies just fifty miles south of our home in Colorado. The photos almost took my breath away. I found myself breathing harder as I scrolled through his online photo gallery again and again, viewing the photos over and over. I couldn't believe the beauty from the top. From our home, the view of this peak in the San Juan mountain range is beautiful, but one can never imagine the view from atop the mountain if they've never stood on its summit.
As I viewed Chris' photos, I longed to stand where he stood and to see what he saw. I then remembered where the Lord had taken me recently, and I prayed, "Lord, I want to go higher." I thought to myself that anyone who views these amazing photos would long for the mountains, just from seeing a photo of the view from above. What if I could paint a faint picture of the mountain heights from which I have looked as my Beloved has led me from peak to peak? Wouldn't it spark a hunger in the hearts of those who know the mountains exist, yet have forgotten the beauty and wonder to which they have been called?
I love to look south to Mt. Sneffels, and I've thought many times of climbing it. However, my days are taken up with my life here on the farm and at work. I look up at times while pushing a wheelbarrow full of hay to the goat pen, and I enjoy the beauty of Mt. Sneffels, but I rarely stop and ponder the view from above, much less begin planning my trek to its peak. How sad to think that many who have heard, at one time or another, God's call to the mountain heights, now only lift their eyes occasionally from the plains or deserts of their daily grind below, just to fill their thoughts for a moment with the vista of a distant realm of beauty. How sad indeed.
There is a mountain height. There is. It's a place of wonder and beauty beyond description, and unfortunately, the human mind cannot retain it in memory. The "memory" is stored in the "photo album" of scriptural verse. Its peaks are religious words to the lowland dwellers. Just lists of things in the bible, like names for peaks they know only as words but not as granite rocks beneath their feet. Some of us can name some of the fourteeners of Colorado, such as Longs Peak, Pikes Peak, Mt. Princeton, Mt. Sneffels, and so on. To Chris, they are much more than names, they are adventures. They are experiences. They are skinned knees, and lost equipment. They are altitude sickness from climbing too high after living for some time at sea level. They are visions that bring a smile across his lips, just before sleep, as he closes his eyes and remembers.
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1). "Risen with Christ and Seated with Christ in heavenly places"... just a platitude to so many. Just words we so often identify with the little rolling hills upon which we've skipped in our conversion experience. Not to those who've scaled its lofty peak. It is wonder and beauty beyond the picture my futile words fail to paint for you, for it is union with Jesus in His glory, the glory He had with the Father from before the foundation of the world. His invitation is open to you, just as it was to me. He calls to you from the mountain heights, "Seek ye my face." The knowledge of the glory of God is found in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and it is the voice of my Beloved Jesus that calls to you from the mountains. "The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills" (Song 2:8). Do you hear His voice? Will you answer His call? Will you climb your mountain?