June 16, 2021 - The Mountain

"Peter said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here." Mark 9:5

I have been blog absent for the last couple of weeks because of some vacation time. Read a couple of good books in the quiet moments of the day when I wasn't conscripted to be the extra weight needed to go down the larger water slides with the grandkids. Ten flights of stairs with an innertube. Not sure how long I will be able to do that but thankful for the current ability (especially post-Covid lungs).
Vacations are like little excursions. You head off to someplace different to "get away" and yet bring most of your stuff with you. Humorous.

One of the things that cause me a bit of stress but at the same time brings me great joy is putting an address in the GPS (Global Positioning System) and taking off trusting that the thing is correct (which, on occasion, is not). So down a different Tennessee road we go. Nicely paved. Winding. Hmmm...who would have thought that Eastern Tennessee University would be out here. Mountains. Streams. And out in the middle of nowhere...shops. Artisans. Potters. Photo galleries. Jewelers. Woodworkers. Herbalists. Tanners. A pleasant day of adventure. Hoping to find some good fudge or hard dip ice cream.

I am a homebody by nature. I like "stay vacations." I have to force myself to get out of "Dodge" as they say. But when I do, I am reminded of the beauty of this country and for the most part, of its people. I can't help to think that each new location, each verbal connection with a stranger, is a foreshadowing of heaven in some way.

As I read the account of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Gospel of Mark I was captured by the statement that Peter made: "It is good for us to be here." I think the text bears witness that it was a bit of nervous energy on his part. He had to say something. He had to acknowledge the unique adventure in some way. And what an adventure it was.

Jesus took his elite triplets up the mountain: James, John, and Peter. And the Bible tells us that Jesus was transformed before their eyes. His clothes became whiter than any white known to man. His countenance - radiant. And if that was not enough, two other guests, who apparently did not need introduction, showed up for the party: Moses and Elijah. Divine knowledge of a couple of guys who had been dead for over a thousand years.

I am getting old. My thoughts and values are changing. I long for the eternal, the whole, the next. Moses. Elijah. Not in a morbid way but rather, to see the divine now. To see it in the hills of Tennessee, but also in the traffic jam around Cincinnati. To see it in the stranger at the leather shop making me a handcrafted belt with a cross button affixed as well as in the laughter and screaming of my grandkids as we fly down an enclosed death tube of fast flowing water hoping not to drown. To see Jesus.

It is good to be here.