Getting Alone

I know.  Long time, no blog.  Anywhizzle….

Recently, two Bible College students (one youth group alum, one honorary alum) were telling me about an interesting assignment one of their professors had given them. They were to take a nature hike. I thought they were kidding. But then they explained that this was to be a chance to get alone with God. I realized I still had a puzzled look on my face when Josh asked,

“That’s not something you would ever do?”

I immediately felt terrible that I had given that impression.  I explained that I used to do that.  It started with early morning walks while I was in Bible College and continued on early in my ministry.  Somewhere along the way I had gotten away from that.  It was a very convicting moment that God wasn’t done dealing with me about.  The next morning in my devotion time, I ran into a verse in Luke by which I had jotted down another scripture reference.  I went to that verse and, lo and behold, there was yet another reference written down.  I followed this “chain” to another six or seven verses.  It was a chain I had formulated some 10-15 years ago about the prayer life of Jesus.  What stood out the most was Jesus separating Himself from the crowd, and at times going into the wilderness to get alone with His Father.  I honestly said this in prayer that morning:

“Okay, Lord, I get it.”

That scripture chain became the Teen Church message that morning.  I told the young people that we needed to find a way to do that.  To get away from any sign of man’s work and influence (cars, sidewalks, etc.) and spend time with God.  Many were very excited about that.

Today I drove up Glendora Mountain Road.  The main reason was to apply what I had just preached.  I also wanted to find a spot that I could take the teens to for my crazy wilderness prayer idea (I’ve yet to come up with a catchy name for this).  As I drove, one medium-sized peak captured my attention.  It seemed that the road would take me right to it and that I might have a chance to take a small hike to its summit (I did have my hiking boots on).  Then I heard the church van say “ding” and saw that the “Trans Temp” light was on.  I parked in the next available pull out to let the tranny cool off.

Well, I was alone.  In the wilderness.  Yipee.  Might as well enjoy the view.  I stepped out of the van and almost rolled my ankle on a stupid beer bottle.  It was just a mess there.  So much trash (and I’m talking trashy trash, if you know what I mean).  My grouchy level was rising as I made my way through the garbage to the ledge.  I was immediately struck by the cool-ish breeze and it was pretty comforting.  I couldn’t have been much higher than 3,000 feet, but there was a definite difference from the sweltering valley floor below.  The view was just okay.  A bit hazy, but I could make out the hustle and bustle below.

Then I turned my eyes northward to look at the peak I was hoping to get to.  It really stood out in the immediate area.  Ah, so close yet so far.  It looked like there might be a somewhat worn trail going up the side.  Would’ve been an easy hike and the view would probably be really nice.  Upon closer inspection, I noticed that 10,000+ foot Mt. San Antonio was in the background.  I looked back at the mountain I was initially impressed with and thought to myself, “That mountain’s big, but not that big.”

Then I thought about Mt. San Antonio, the tallest mountain in the San Gabriels, and remembered beholding Denali from Anchorage.  So I thought of Mt. San Antonio, “That mountain’s big, too, but not that big.”

It wasn’t ’till the tranny had cooled down and I was coasting back down the lonely, winding road that I realized the Lord was, yet again, speaking to me.  I’d like to pass on the message to those going through some hard times.  Maybe some of the hardest times of your life.

That mountain’s big.  But not that big.

You’ll be fine.


7 comments so far

  1. Randy Smith on

    thats awesome Jay!

  2. Ryan Ong on

    Great post, Jay!

  3. Jay on

    Ryan! Coming in from the south! Can you see any mountains from where you are?

  4. jenmarie on

    We thought Tommy was kidding too when he told us about the assignment. I guess the way he said it just didn’t sound serious – “we have to take a nature walk”

    One of the things I love about missions trips is being able to get outside and spend time with God “away” from it all – or mostly. =)

  5. Becka on

    I love living where I can just walk out beyond my backyard and immediately be “away.” It really is great to take a walk out behind my house and spend some time with God.

  6. Sarah on

    LOL. When he first told us that was our assignment I thought he was joking too. Great post by the way, bummer I didn’t get to hear the message that goes with it. 🙂

  7. Ryan Ong on

    I haven’t seen much yet. Most of the time the weather has been pretty cloudy. Now it’s beginning to rain a lot.

    I miss sunny Californian weather. 😦

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