I Love the Mountains

In the last few weeks I’ve preached in three states, traveled nearly 2,500 miles, preached four new sermons at home, hosted a Pastor’s Lunch, and been at a big event at our Sports Park among other things. To say I am weary is an understatement. My wife keeps saying, “Take those speaking engagements, honey. We’ve got a wedding to pay for” I guess as Ron Dunn would say, “Low motive is better than no motive.” 
Not really. I don’t speak for money. When given the opportunity to impact lives as I’ve been given these last few weeks, I jump at the chance. In South Carolina I spoke to nearly 1,000 ministers of music. In Tennessee it was a rally for the churches in Milan who are trying to pull off a God-sized event for their city. It was a blast to be there and see pastors and lay leaders from across denominational lines and racial lines gathering to make a difference for Christ.
I love that kind of traveling. I am grateful God is allowing me to speak into the lives of people who I wouldn’t normally cross paths with. I’m grateful for the opportunity (and responsibility) of sharing biblical truth with others. I’m grateful for a church body that gives me the freedom to spread the influence and impact of Sherwood to other areas. I’m grateful that after nearly 20 years they are still willing to listen to me preach every Sunday.
Having said that, I’m grateful for this break. When I need to redirect, refocus, chill, study, or get alone, one place comes to mind: the mountains. I love the mountains. I believe my blood pressure drops in the mountains. I sleep better knowing I’m away from the daily grind. It’s my “come apart and rest awhile” place.
When my dad died we were able to take some of his estate and buy a place in the mountains. By the grace of God, enough people rent it that it pays for itself. God has given us a refuge, and we love to run away to it as often as we can. I don’t care for all the tourist traffic, but it’s unusual that I’m here during tourist season. I normally come in the dead of winter when no one is here. I do love the sound of a mountain stream. I love the sound of the thunder rolling across the Greenbriar Ridge. It reminds me that what God creates is so much greater than what man builds.
For the next few days I’ll be reading, studying, eating pancakes, seeing a few friends, and asking the Lord what’s next for me, with my sermons, for the church, etc. We are one month away from our annual ReFRESH™ Conference. I’m hoping my heart is ready to receive all God has for me in those four days.
Wherever you are, if you are too busy to get away and rest awhile, you are too busy. As Vance Havner said, “Come apart and rest or you will come apart.” We all run at a fast pace. God put a Sabbath rest in the Scriptures for a reason. The land rested, and there was rest from work. Sometimes the old body needs to rest. Maybe you need to find your mountain. It could be in the mountains. It could be on a beach or by a stream. It could be in your backyard. Wherever it is, stop and take a chill pill. It might make you easier to deal with—at least that’s what my wife is hoping will happen this week!

2 thoughts on “I Love the Mountains

  1. Hello once again, Michael: You speak of the “the mountains.” May I ask where your “retreat” is located? My wife an I have always enjoyed the mountains. We have a married daughter living in Vail, Colorado. Those are mountains!!! I enjoy the smokies in Tennessee. I agree about the rest!! God gave me a big wake up call in July, and I am listening to Him right now. Rest, relax, and continue to serve HIM.

    Wes Allard – Mansfield, Texas

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