Last week Neva and I experienced a rarity. We went to the mountains. It is not that I don’t like to look at the mountains. It is not that I don’t like to drive through the mountains. But to stay in the mountains, or better yet, stay on the side of a mountain. Well, that is another story and that is our story last week.
It was a surprise I gave Neva for our anniversary. As I have mentioned many times, my idea of “camping” is a stay at a Holiday Inn. Neva, not so much, she would prefer a tent. Or, at least, that is what my “Outdoor Darling” claims; however, the only tent I have seen her in is with her second graders in the back yard of our home while doing a camping unit.
In this case, I figured a cabin would be a fair compromise. I did my Internet search and found a cabin not far from Gatlinburg, but as I later discovered, it was 30 minutes from the exit off the expressway, most of it a vertical incline. She was thrilled with the choice and I was “King of the mountain,” especially when I discovered the cabin was equipped with Direct TV. With hand resting on the Bible, I can tell you I did NOT know it was equipped with that window to the world of my struggling, bumbling Cincinnati Reds. But it was.
It was not the two losses and one win the Reds had against the Pirates I remember. It was the trip down the mountain to the river, by foot! We hiked to the river and we did not get lost. We followed the map given when we checked in and began “living the life” of a hiker. As we sat in the cool river water at the bottom of the mountain, basking in the glow of lessons learned, I began to organize my “meditations from the mountains.”
I learned you should not hold hands on a mountain trail. The path isn’t wide enough and your arms must be free to balance your downhill, uneven steps.
I learned you lean into the mountain as you go up and only slightly back as you go down. The hike is always about staying on your feet and keeping your head up.
I learned rocks in the river are slippery and rocks beside the river are hard. Holding hands and making sure one of the bodies’ behind those hands is braced and steady, is an absolute necessity.
The common theme of my meditations from the mountains surrounds the need for balance. Life is in fact a “balancing act.” We balance our doing with our being. We balance our work with our play. We balance our exertion with rest. We thrive when are in balance and we deteriorate when are not.
So, how is your balance? Need someone to hold your hand until you get steady? Need to go apart before you come apart? Need to lean into the heartbeat of God before you lose yours? To quote a famous shoe company, “Just Do It!” Or in this case, you may need to “just undo it!”