There’s a ski hill in between Snowmass Colorado and Aspen, it’s called Buttermilk. I once ascended it’s slopes to the highest possible point, and there I felt as if I were on top of the world. From its rising elevations, proud-standing trees, pure snow and pristine views, I looked across the Colorado landscape and caught a glimpse of countless other mountain peaks. As I gazed across what must have been fifty miles of snow-capped mountains, I was filled with the fresh air of absolute clarity like I rarely experience. All my senses agreed that the place I was standing was a good place to stay for a while, even though it was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe the cold air, diminished oxygen and partially frozen extremities colluded together to shut down the brain and leave room only for emotion, for pondering, from which I couldn’t stop staring across the Rocky Mountains and marveling at God’s stunning Creation.
That was twenty years ago. I’ve since found a point of clarity in another setting, in the setting of God’s love. Having searched the pages of the Bible for decades in search of answers, maybe loop-holes and yielding myself to thousands of sermon’s, I’ve come to marvel mostly at God’s love. The older I get, the more painfully aware I am of my own flaws, my propensity toward evil. And yet the more aware I become of God’s devoted love for me and for his children, the more it appears a great paradox. The more un-lovable I feel, the more his love comes into clear view. I’ve been a student of Christianity for a longtime, I know some things, or do I?
To know and receive God’s love is the most comforting thing I’ve ever encountered, even beyond human love. That said, the opportunity then to turn and give that love to others is even more fulfilling, or at least as much. Whether it’s more or less, the feeling of having completed the circle of loves movements around us is remarkable beyond words. I can do some impressive, important and even honorable things in this life, but they all stumble into obscurity compared to loving those around me, taking what God has given me and simply passing it on somehow, however ill-equipped I am. I think Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer and author of War and Peace, had it right when he said;” Everything that I know…I know only because I love.”