Hiking in the mountains is energizing. It takes attention to follow the path, to keep steady on damp tangled roots and rocks covered in moss, to find dry and stable footing at every climb. The paths through filtered light are breathtaking, the stream crossings and vertical climbs invigorating, and every vista lifts the spirit to contemplate God’s grandeur.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121
This “song of ascents” causes several. As I lift my eyes from the scrabble and slippery bumps of my stirrings, quandaries, concerns, I see the Lord Who made all. He is creative and strong. When I consider His help, how He orders my steps, and guards, and revives, my heart ascends in gratitude and dependence. When I know that I know that He keeps me, keeps my life from evil, and my going out and my coming in, my hands raise up in worship and surrender to Him. As I ascend in these ways, the view of Him is broadened, magnified, expanding my soul in love and praise.
Lord on High, vigilant Guard and Guide, lift me ever higher, even as I live and love and serve here in the lowlands.