Jibstay

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Weather Conditions


The day was gray and overcast. It was our daughter's last day in California and the weather did not look good. We hoped to get up into the mountains behind the house and see the sights. We had the time set aside so we decided to head up into the hills anyway. The weather got worse the higher we drove. Clouds turned into pea-soup fog. But we kept driving up the 3,900 feet. Soon the sky seemed to brighten from above and there were hints of blue. Before we knew it we broke out of the fog into a brilliant blue-sky day. We drove above the clouds and oh what a view (see photo).
My spiritual life is too often like our day before driving. All I see around me are the clouds at sea level. I view my weather from too low a vantage point. This morning I was reading Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" and it was a heart-ride up the mountains, though the clouds and into the sun. I need outside help to get above the weather and see the blue sky. When we used to live in Muskegon, Michigan, the prevailing westerlies would "pile up" moisture laden clouds over Muskegon for weeks at a time, giving us continual snow called "lake effect." We would get so desperate to get out of the gloomy weather of cloudiness, we would drive the 50-some miles east to Grand Rapids, just to see some sunshine.
What gets you above the clouds? I find my individual devotional practice and routine does the lion's share of the work, and I'm not sure that's all that good of a thing. It's all so dependant on my individual work. Where does the community fit in? How does worship work when it's my job? I do find that walking up in those hills with an ipod tuned to different sorts of music lifts my spirits. I guess that living in California is giving me a new appreciation for the value of elevation, a term not normally used in the midwest. Maybe too many evangelicals just aren't used to elevation after getting rid of the mysteries post-reformation. I need spiritual elevation so I can see the real view of things, and not life in the fog.

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