I went out of the city to a a national park this past week for a two day retreat. it was a planning meeting with my business partner for the future of our work here. But it was just, simply good to get out of the city. Here, within in an hours drive in your SUV, you can be in one of the most remotest places on earth. We drove for 30 or so minutes, than decided to run right, off the road, and just follow it up over the mountains, through the forests, up the valleys, to see where it would take us.
I found myself saying several times those two days “I can’t beehive we live here. I can’t believe how incredibly beautiful, expansive and untouched this place is.” Thins have changed microscopically over the past centuries. In fact, the road we traveled on didn’t exist until recently with it being simply a two track dirt trail that went on for hundreds of miles.
We set up camp in a ger (yurt) that a local allowed us to rent for the night. Though we were planning, we made time for reflection, hiking and just enjoying being together. On one hike, we went up a thin, steep valley, and came to the ridgeline, only to find that there were more valleys and peaks as far as the eye could see.
The picture above shows a panorama of what I saw. Below the massive rock face on the left, there are 3 dark brown specks. Those are free range horses enjoying a snack on the grass in this high desert.
I stopped, sat down, took out my water and opened up my pack. I watched the reality before me and listened to the dead silence. Ephesians 3:17-18 came to my mind-“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.“
Without those horses in the picture, it’s hard to grasp how tall and wide that rock face is. Without the ability of being perched on the ridge where I was, it’s hard to gauge, let alone grasp, how deep the valley is or how far the mountains go. Forever…at least it seems. Paul says he prays we “may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people” to grasp it. One of the things that I cherish so greatly about people who are in recovery, is that though I may not find someone who is identical to me and my hurts, hang ups and habits. However, I can if I take the hurts, hangups and habits of the collective step group or breakout group. Grasping the height, width and depth of God’s love may not ever be something we truly can grasp in this life. However, we definitely will not be able to on our own. His love is mean’t to be understood, grasped, explored, discovered, received and enjoyed in communion with each other.
My friend in the picture above was exploring and discovery the expanse of His creation with me…together. though we were looking at the same beauty, it hit us differently. Not bad, but in ways that took my perspective and widened to better understand the magnitude of what we were looking at.
All of this I write to simply share that in community, our understanding of God and his Love grows exponentially to an extent we could never again on our own. Leaning into community is what God desires of us….to grasp the how wide and long and high and deep the Love of Christ.
I would love to hear your experiences, please comment!