Prayers and Places Part 1

Somewhere in the Blue Mountains of Australia, 1995

I am on a bush walk alone. The green of the eucalyptus trees seems to wrap around me for awhile until suddenly I am on the side of the mountain looking down into a canyon. Across from me, another mountain rises. I know you have given me this moment to reflect.

I sit on this mountain wondering about my life. I see the valleys ahead. I see the climbing. It all looks appealing. I’m too young to have any dread.

I am 20 years old. I have it all before me. I don’t know yet that I can’t do everything.

What shall you do with me, O God?

Gratefulness for this place abounds, and I am breathless with wonder as the sun illuminates the mountain opposite from me.

Intensely, desperately I ask what do you want me to do?

There are possibilities.

There is preaching. There are role confusions from my East Texas upbringing. There are older siblings playing parents. There is Dad who is trying so hard to love me, but he doesn’t quite know what to do with me. There are love letters from Texas. I don’t know if I want them, but I love them and I do want them.

The sun moves up the mountain somehow and the hard work to be done doesn’t seem so hard. The side of the canyon sparkles, and I sparkle for you Lord.

I’m all in.

Whatever you want.

Here or there or anywhere.

I stand and I throw open my arms trying desperately to show my readiness. I’m waiting for you. I would jump off this mountain…I am so exhilarated. But, I would need a parachute. Chuckling, I gather myself up to finish the hike….wherever it may take me.




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