By Ken McEachern
Ken McEachern
August 7, 2023

When the summer heat bakes my native Texas home, I often long for the cool mountain evenings of the Colorado Rockies. I remember family trips to the mountains when I was a child. Subsequently, I have made other trips as an adult. Every trip I have been captivated by the majestic beauty of the Rockies. I enjoy sprawling vistas of snow-capped peaks, lush green valleys, and dancing mountain streams that trip seemingly joyfully over smooth ancient rocks. All of these scenes remind me of the opening scene in the movie “The Sound of Music” when Julie Andrews revels in the beauty of the Austrian alps. The young novitiate bursts into joyful melody at the inspiring scene.

I must admit that although I didn’t break out in song when I visited the mountains, I did feel similar emotions in my youth. However, as I reflect on my feelings from those days, I sense that I was experiencing something deeper.  feeling of peace. A calming. I have seen mountain ranges in several states and a few foreign countries. As I look back on those experiences, I now realize that lingering in the back of my mind was that same sense of peace. Whether it was the Great Smokies of eastern Tennessee, the Appalachians of Virginia, the Black Hills of South Dakota, or the Cascades of Washington, the emotions were similar. After I got past the initial awe of their majesty, I settled in on the peace that I experienced when I was there.

But why? From where did that peace come? Was it because the mountain streams were soothing? Was it because of the sighting of wildlife in their natural habitat granted a glimpse of the handiwork of God? Was it because of feeling so small in the presence of massive mountains? All of those experiences were part of the sense of peace I felt.

But why? I have come to believe that the encounter with the amazing creation of the Creator has brought me closer to the One who created it all. Even in the fallen state of creation, God’s glory shines through and touches my soul. Oh for the day when He makes all things new! (Rev 21:5) In the meantime, I can rejoice with the psalmist who proclaimed, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Ps 19:1)

Jesus made this promise to His followers: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)

I believe that one of the ways Jesus allows me to experience that peace is by visiting the mountains, especially the Colorado Rockies.

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