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Flat Landers – Day 23

This was several years ago on a trip with my sister, sister in law and niece. We rode the cable car half way up the mountain overlooking Innsbruck below.

This was several years ago on a trip with my sister, sister in law and niece. We rode the cable car half way up the mountain overlooking Innsbruck below.

If you haven’t been to southern Louisiana, this might surprise you. Ok – it’s true the only hills we have are the overpasses on the interstates and highways. The only views out over the swamps, rivers and lakes are from the bridges. Someone asked one day “not even rolling hills”? Nope. Not even.

Living in the flat lands requires little physical exertion from us. We are comfortable until the day we meet a mountain. Beginning our journey upwards, it doesn’t take long until our calf muscles shriek in protest – loudly – our lungs have no idea how to suck in necessary oxygen.

Once we get to the top, we look around and down on the valleys and realize how big this world is. It’s beauty from above is stunning. The rivers look like tiny ribbons weaving their way across the plains. The highways pretty much resemble the rivers. Gratitude for the change of the world view I had never known – to the endurance it helped produce physically in me, I can understand now why the challenge has made me  a healthier person.

Then we start down again – to the valley.

But once we find ourselves back in the valley, we look up at the mountain tops and we remember – how beautiful the view from there was.

Yet, if we had not experienced the mountain tops or the valleys, our appreciation for either of them would not have been real to us.

Hard times in our lives can produce the same gratitude. There are times when the rivers rise and the floods come and we are grateful for the opportunity to climb to higher ground. The experiences we had there before taught us what to do when we are struggling. This is when our spiritual endurance develops.

Sometimes, the change of view alone can change the outcome of our dilemma.

We take that step back and look at what’s happening and from the mountain top view – bird’s eye view from the top – the rivers of problems don’t look so big any more.

The ability to look at our problems from a different view produces a different outcome than if we had stayed in them – swamped up to our eyeballs – fighting to keep our footing against the very powerful current of life determined to knock us off our feet.

We can then go back into the valley – where our problems have ended up – heaped up to our eyeballs and above at times and have the stamina to face them.

So, for all the ups and downs, all those trips up and down the mountains, back to the valleys and up to the mountains again, I am grateful for the journey and what I’ve learned along the way.

I’m very grateful for the places in between where I can just sit and be still and wait.

As we all face the Monday of a new week – let’s take a hike and get high enough above our challenges to be able to change our perspective and hopefully produce a better outcome.

Here’s to another Monday – another day of life – another day we get to choose – will you choose gratitude?

Journey well my friends.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

23 A Psalm of David. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. 

He leads me beside still waters. 

He restores my soul. 

He leads me in paths of righteousness 

for his name’s sake. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil, 

for you are with me; 

your rod and your staff, 

they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me 

in the presence of my enemies; 

you anoint my head with oil; 

my cup overflows. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

all the days of my life, 

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord 

forever. 

This passage of scripture is the first I memorized as a small child. It has served me well. In these words, God reveals the incredible depth of His love for me.

“Lord, please protect us from the weariness of life that would keep us stuck in one place. Please, God, let us to remember to keep our eyes focused on the promises You have given us. We love You, Lord. Forgive us when we forget to look around us and realize how powerful Your presence is in our lives. We praise You for Your redemption and Your grace and peace. Amen.”

 

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