Rest on the Mountain

Welcome  A couple weeks ago, while working on my post for Go Tell it on the Mountain, I came across the song Go Rest High on that Mountain by Vince Gill.  This is an emotional song for me, as the first time I heard it was in 1995 at my grandfather’s funeral.  This song was played at several other family member’s funerals in the years that followed.  While I love this song, I don’t seek it out because of the emotional context I have for it.  But while I was listening to my other “mountain music” selections, I chose to listen to this song again.  In the process of listening, through teary eyes, I got to thinking about my life and the idea of rest.  I would like to share three of those thoughts with you today.  Thanks for visiting my page today!

Food For Thought  There are many different thoughts that ran through my mind as I listened to the song on that cold winter day, but three big ideas stuck with me after the music notes faded away.  My thoughts seemed to be focusing on mortality, physical rest, and eternal rest.  In no way am I trying to be morbid with my thoughts today, but I legitimately think about these things and, for me at least, it’s important.  I don’t want to be like some people I’ve known and spend my days “waiting to die,” but I also want to be ready when God feels my earthly days are complete.  So about that mortality issue…I think as we approach a certain age, these thoughts are somewhat inevitable.  I am witnessing the decline in my parents health and I’ve seen grandparents battle serious illness and disease that shortened their life span.  I am aware of the reality of genetics and environmental factors on our health.  The only way we can defeat the event of an earthly death is if Jesus returns before that act happens, but either way it’s the end of earthly life as we know it.  So as I approach my fortieth birthday, I am keenly aware that my life, at best, is probably half over.  I made this statement to a family member over the holidays and they were completely dismayed that I would make such a bold declaration.  Don’t I want to live a long and healthy life?  Well, of course, most of us do!  But again, I’m thinking about how very few members of my family tree, on either side, have made it past 80.  That’s not to say I won’t, if God sees fit for me to have that many years, but the point is to be at peace with how I’ve used my time here on earth and to have the “blessed assurance” that I will be reunited with my Heavenly Father.

My next thoughts were of rest, both literal and eternal, as the words “go rest” are key lyrics.  I was thinking about how much rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation I feel when I’m on actual mountains.  I guarantee there is no energy drink or prescription that can restore me better than some time in the fresh mountain air.  And I think these times of personal physical rest are important.  I’m not condoning the dismissal of our adult responsibilities, although that sometimes sounds appealing.  I am not promoting the idea of laziness or selfishness.  I am saying that time spent doing what we love, where we love to do it, with the people we love to be with will always trump more stress, longer work hours, and a slightly bigger paycheck.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the past year: chasing “stuff and things” is definitely less enjoyable than chasing waterfalls and mountain vistas!  What do you want to chase, I mean really?  Whatever it is you find worth chasing, make sure you stop and rest now and then, so you can enjoy those treasures!

[not stock photo-I took this picture in North Carolina last March]
And finally, there’s the eternal rest, the rest being voiced in the song.  In the past ten months or so, I have felt a strong desire to move to the mountains.  I am compelled to make that location my last home while I live here on earth.  I want this so badly that sometimes I panic with a fear that I will not get to make that move in time to actually enjoy it.  A few months ago I commented to my husband that one way or another, I would finish out my time on earth in the mountains, even if that meant he had to carry my ashes to the top and scatter them on the winds of the Blue Ridge.  And then I got really depressed!  That idea gave me little peace!  I mean, how can I possible enjoy the views, the waterfalls, the smell of the mountain air, the exhilaration and accomplishment of the hike…when I’m dead?  But then I read some passages about our heavenly promises, like 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 and Revelation 21:4.  As much as I equate serene waterfalls and quiet mountain vistas with “heaven on earth,” they are no match to the actual home God has prepared for me.  It’s pretty amazing to think that no matter how many wonderful things I experience in this life, the glory of heaven is unfathomable!  So, in the mean time, I pray for patience and guidance to get me to my earthly mountain home, knowing that I will soon enough go rest high on God’s mountain (Revelation 21:10.)

Today’s Scripture  I find the book of Revelations to be quite fascinating and intriguing, while also being mysterious and somewhat puzzling.  I don’t spend near enough time reading this book that I think offers a wonderful hope to all believers.  Tucked among the descriptive imagery are the reminders of things to come according to God’s great promises.  I spent some time this week reading and contemplating the last two chapters in scripture, Revelation 21-22.  I want to share a few of the passages that touched me most from my reading.

Revelation 21:1-5  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’  He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’  Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:10  “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”

Revelation 22:1-2  “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

Fab Five Trail Mix
Portable and providing sustaining energy for wherever the trail leads you!

Today’s Recipe  When my husband and I complete our day hikes, we do not pack typical lunch.  We eat a good breakfast and grab some caffeine for the drive.  During the day, however, we only drink water and eat trail mix.  There is a very good reason that it’s called “trail” mix.  It has long been known that the combination of nuts and fruits provide a balanced energy for activities such as hiking and the portability can’t be beat!  No refrigeration or utensils needed!  When we get to that waterfall or mountain vista, there’s bound to be a good solid boulder or rock to rest our bodies.  My husband pulls out his tripod and camera equipment and I pull out the water bottles and trail mix.  There’s nothing quite like the sweet and salty satisfaction of some replenishing nibbles while taking in the awesome views.  We’ve been enjoying these munchies for going on fifteen years now, energizing ourselves to go another mile or two, or maybe just make it back to the car!  This is our homemade Fab 5 HikingTrail Mix, containing five solid ingredients balancing protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and salt.  Don’t worry if you’re not a hiker…this snack is also great for long road trips or for the kids after school.

Fab 5 Hiking Trail Mix (This mix will make a substantial amount.  We keep ours in gallon-size zip-top bags which travels well in my backpack.  This mix will last my husband and I for several days of hiking.)

  • 14 oz. pkg. roasted almonds with sea salt
  • 8 oz. unsalted peanuts
  • 6 oz. plain M&M candies
  • 6 oz. raisins
  • 4 oz. sunflower seed kernels (no shell)

Place all ingredients in gallon-size zip top bag.  Zip bag closed and shake to combine.  Trail mix can be stored in this container in a cool and dry environment for up to a month.  Mix can also be divided into individual portions using snack-size zip-top bags.