The 9th annual Summit is now only one month away. It will probably seem like the longest month of the year as I anticipate my annual pilgrimage with God in Yosemite National Park with six other pastors for a time of re-creation, renewal, recharging, refocusing and restarting for the next season of life and ministry.
I am often asked, “What’s so special about Yosemite? Why do you go there every year?” While I have answered that countless times and in many ways on the YosemiteSummit.org blog, let me share with you my first entry in the journal I have now taken to Yosemite on every trip.
This place is beyond description, though of course, I will try. As I often say, it is the closest God ever got to sin… because he sorta showed off His creative abilities! Our language lacks adequate words to do Yosemite justice.
Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Beautiful. Magnificent.
I suppose the best I can use is awe-inspiring. Awe at the sheer size and height and depth and distance and beauty and splendor that hits your eyes all at once. And no matter how many pictures you take (and I take a lot) you can’t capture nor contain it. You can’t even get your mind around it. You have to be here and just experience it.
But what is “it?”
“It” is not Yosemite – it is GOD.
His Bigness, His Majesty, His Beauty, His Greatness, His Power, His Creative ability – I do not worship Yosemite – I love Yosemite because it draws out of me a depth of worship I can only experience here.
It’s like somehow God is more here than anywhere else. While I know theologically that isn’t true, this broken spiritual vessel is somehow healed here – even if only temporarily – and able to feel God’s presence like at no other time. All doubts, All pressures, All temptations, All my earthly distractions vanish here – and I get a taste of what heaven will be like. Not necessarily what I see on the outside here, but what happens to me on the inside here. And I beg God to let me take Yosemite (it’s peace and presence) back with me when I return to my normal life. May I not forget these mountains, these waterfalls, these trees and these vistas are all silently still here – even as I hurry about my busy life – to remind me that HE is still there too, quietly, patiently, waiting for me to stop and ponder Him, worship Him, and return to that place of Awe wherever I may be.
Every year I add new hikes, while returning to favorites (so the new guys can experience them as well) – and this year I am really excited about the hikes I have planned. Please pray for me while I’m there.
Where do you connect with God?