Skiing in the mountains of Utah: God’s country. He is present in the overwhelming magnificence of this landscape as I survey the space from a 9,000 feet perspective. It seems unchanging, and yet I know it is evolving just as I am. The trails change; the trees fall down; the snow melts; the mountainsides crumble, sending avalanches of rock below.
Off the mountain in the afternoons I am immersed in Atul Gawande’s book entitled Being Mortal*. And I realize that my evolution is a euphemistic way off saying that I am aging even as I strive to maintain a perspective from 9,000 feet – very close to heaven and as close as I will ever get until death.
It is the road to this inevitable death that is expressed in Being Mortal and that currently occupies my thoughts as I live out the final third of life. “There is a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). The question is how each of us lives approaching the inevitable – an eternal life in and with Christ in heaven (and above 9,000 feet).
*Footnote to everyone over 50: read Being Mortal, because we all have loved ones traveling a nearer path to heaven.
Appointed readings for today: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalm 106:6-7, 19-23, John 5:30-47