One of the songs in church this morning was Come Thou Fount. A lyric caught my attention; “Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it, mount of Thy unchanging Love”. I have a thing for mountains. I can tell you the exact moment it happened. I was in Kindergarten and it was recess. I was probably the only kid who was happier in class than at recess. It had something to do with the fact that I was slightly a klutz and would much prefer reading a book than running anywhere. This is still basically true. So one day at recess I was standing by my teacher watching the other crazy children yelling and hanging upside down from the monkey bars. My teacher shook her head, looked up at Mt. Hood and said “the mountain is calling to me”. That statement rang true in my five year old ears and I’ve looked to mountains ever since.
We went to visit family in Nebraska one time. I didn’t like it. Nebraska may have some wonderful traits but she does not have mountains. In fact, an aunt said she’d drive us out to “their mountain” and we could look at the view. I was not impressed. Growing up in the Pacific NW I was used to being surrounded by foothills and seeing the unchanging and impressive views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and the out of town beauties of Rainier, Bachelor, Adams and Jefferson.
My parents celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary today. That’s a bit of an impressive mountain too. I look at their marriage and I’m grateful for the steady and impressive view. Our culture is hard on marriages today. Its an institution that Hollywood ridicules, politicians fight over and many in my generation don’t value. We went out to breakfast yesterday and our waiter was loudly talking to the people at the next booth all about his new plan. He and his girlfriend decided it was significantly better to stay single for the tax advantage and what was the point of getting married anyway? Too many marriages end in divorce so why bother? I sighed.
That day in May of 1980, my dad and I stood on an overpass and watched Mt. St. Helens erupt. I still have a jar of ash in my closet. We wore the masks and were thankful the mountain blew away from most of civilization. We’ve all seen divorces. They are a bit like a volcano. Terribly painful, sometimes unavoidable. Gotta tell you though, Mt. St. Helens is still a gorgeous mountain even after the eruption. I’d rather people take the risk and get married. I’d rather we have marriages to point to as success stories. I’d rather live among volcanoes and mountains than in the flatlands in Nebraska.
I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1
I am so very grateful for the love of God and for the mountains He made that call to me.