Meditation, Mountains, and Mountain Lions

One of my assignments for my doctrine class is to meditate on a few different passages 4 times a week for the next 2 weeks of class. Christian meditation is distinctly different from other kinds of mediation in that it is not emptying the mind but filling it. Specifically as I learnt last week, meditation in ancient Israel was repeating scripture slowly, methodically so that you could fill your mind with grand thoughts of God, turning over truths about him in your mind, aloud, chewing on them, digesting slowly. So I started the meditation exercise today with Psalm 19. It ended up being a great place to start because my plan for the day was to head to the mountains. We are at 5000 feet in Fort Collins but it seems flat and we are just at the foothills of the great Rockies. Not far from here though.. 40 miles is Estes Park which up in the mountains with higher mountain peaks surrounding it and beyond that the Rocky Mountain National Park.. with very little plans other than to head west with the generous car that my friend lent me.. let me share my adventure in photos..

“I went up to the mountains..” (- Patty Griffin) to rest. To see mountains. I went up to the mountains to spend time with God. I wanted to pray and read my Bible and maybe some books and just be. A theme of this year.

After some driving I got to a park with a carpark and a bunch of people parked and a few trails to climb.

Brilliant.

So I locked up my borrowed car and headed for one of the trails..

Beautiful flowers, the sky was dark and thundered with the threat of rain as I began to climb.. 
Mountains during a thunderstorm.. that is probably a bad idea right? 

The views were spectacular. 

 But as I climbed.. the fact that I was a lone girl in a dress and leggings and dance trainers that are no where near hiking boots.. without a gun (I don’t own a gun) began to ring loudly in my head. I carefully scanned the terrain for bears and mountain lions and moose…

Please don’t let me see bears or mountain lions or moose.. 
Ooohh pretty flowers!! 

But what if I saw a bear a mountain lion or a moose..?!??! 
The fear that one could be right around the corner overtook me… and so I retreated after 1/4 mile back down the path to the car.. I was too spooked.

Once I arrived in the parking lot I settled myself on a big rock within sight of my car (in case the mountain lions came). I found some less scary friends who joined me on my rock: baby chipmunks! They hung out with me while I read 1 Corinthians from the Bible on my phone until the warnings of thunder and lightening turned to big droplets of rain… and I retreated to my car.. 

my cafe where i read, listened to a sermon and looked at a river… 

I read a third of this kids bible today. It is my favourite. I have given it to so many friends. So refreshing to the soul… even if you are a grownup. It is theologically well put together and yet so simple and accessible. We are reading selections of it in my Biblical Communication class. Awesome. 🙂

“Now some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done. Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean…It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!”

A friend sent me this devotional today. A devotional is a little reflection on something from the Bible.. Little reminders I needed to hear and see today.. Prayer, the life-giving words of the Bible, a sermon, the mountains, the greatness of creation, the tininess of creation (mentioning my chipmunk friends) 

Better than Miracles 

Psalm 19 

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19 iThe heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above<a class="fn" href="http://www.esvbible.org/1+Corinthians+13/#f1-1&quot; id="fb1-1" original-title="Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6–8″ style=”border: 0px; color: grey; font-style: italic; font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top;”>1 proclaims his handiwork.
2Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4jTheir kvoice<a class="fn" href="http://www.esvbible.org/1+Corinthians+13/#f2-1&quot; id="fb2-1" original-title="Or Their measuring line” style=”border: 0px; color: grey; font-style: italic; font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top;”>2 goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for lthe sun,
5mwhich comes out like na bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7oThe law of the Lord is perfect,<a class="fn" href="http://www.esvbible.org/1+Corinthians+13/#f3-1&quot; id="fb3-1" original-title="Or blameless” style=”border: 0px; color: grey; font-style: italic; font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top;”>3
previving the soul;
qthe testimony of the Lord is rsure,
smaking wise tthe simple;
8uthe precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is vpure,
wenlightening the eyes;
9the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules<a class="fn" href="http://www.esvbible.org/1+Corinthians+13/#f4-1&quot; id="fb4-1" original-title="Or just decrees” style=”border: 0px; color: grey; font-style: italic; font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top;”>4 of the Lord are xtrue,
and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than ygold,
even much zfine gold;
asweeter also than honey
and drippings of bthe honeycomb.
11Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
cin keeping them there is great reward.

12dWho can discern his errors?
eDeclare me innocent from fhidden faults.
13gKeep back your servant also from hpresumptuous sins;
let them not have idominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
Lord, my jrock and my kredeemer.

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