There, in those mountains, I hiked places I never dreamed I would hike--walking across and scrambling up and down mountain fins. I've never been a fast hiker, but covering only a mile in an hour is slow even for me. That's what happens when you have to stand for a bit to figure out where the trail goes. That happens when you can't easily climb the rocks before you.
There, in the midst of rock walls so large and smooth I can't imagine anyone being able to scale them, no matter what equipment they were given, I began to think of God. My thoughts were not of the pious, see-the-wonder-of-God variety. They were about how differently I would think of God if this were the landscape for my entire life.
The God of this landscape could not be safe God. Even the park-mapped trails were dangerous. Many places, falling would have meant a rescue team. The smoothness of most every peak and rock was overshadowed by the larger picture, which showed a landscape that was jagged and insurmountable.
In the middle of it all, I felt a smallness like I have never felt in my life. Not that I was insignificant, but that there was so much more. The promise of a God who will not let your foot slip makes far more sense in a place like that. An almighty God isn't one who can manipulate the minute details of daily life; an almighty God is one who can reign over something like that. A God beyond understanding seems the only possibility in a place so beyond the order most of us live in.
Hearing the biblical echoes so strongly in a place like that, I can't help but wonder about the sort of God portrayed in church--church with comfy chairs, climate control, easily accessible. Church on Sunday morning hopes that everything goes as planned and we stick to a schedule. Church on a Sunday morning is designed to be hospitable, welcoming, safe.
Is that the sort of God worth following?