Yesterday we climbed Mt. Sulphur here in Banff. It took us just over 1.5 hours, all uphill! What a great experience in all kinds of different ways. It was challenging, but the kids handled it great. Some encouragement was needed at several points, but they were troopers.
But climbing a mountain, even a small one, gives you time to think. We were driving on the Icefields Parkway a couple of days ago, when Brian Doerksen’s version of Psalm 121 was playing: “I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from…” To sing that song, while lifting one’s eyes to the mountains is meaningful beyond words.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve encountered true mountains. They have a majestic power that I find captivating. No wonder they form such a strong biblical image. Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to that mountain…” Those words challenge me to think about the strength of my own faith, but looking at a mountain up close, I’m filled with awe at a God who could, if He willed, pick up a mountain and just move it…
Finally, climbing that mountain yesterday gave me a new appreciation for Moses, who did some climbing in his day. He was fitter than I’ve always imagined! To encounter God at the top of a mountain has much resonance with me today. Tired and with legs feeling like rubber, staring out at the magnificant mountain ranges around Mt. Sulphur, gazing down on the village of Banff, was a great prayerful moment. It’s not easy climbing, but that’s what our walk with God is often like: one foot in front the other, occasionally catching views that take your breath away.