God of the Mountains

As a child growing up in a home where we talked about God I sort of assumed people who denied even his existence maybe just hadn’t thought about it that much?
As an adult I still think the same thing:)
I could get into some very real hangups people have with God, things I’ve struggled through like “How can a loving God allow pain?” (I landed on something called the Broken Universe: God created perfection but also free will which is a double edged gift: IE if we were robots who couldn’t choose, or err would that be love? IE Some choices we make need redeeming Etc etc). 
But to deny the existence of the Creator in the midst of the world we see might actually be more of a “Let’s get back at God by ignoring him!” because our lives didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to (100% pain free). This is a difficult thought if one has read the history of Jesus and his suffering, but without death there is no resurrection. 
Ok theology aside Last week Erin and I took the bike to the mountains and stayed in Canmore a couple of nights. 
When I say bike I mean motorized vehicle because riding pedal bikes to the mountains would be considered punishment by my legs and brain and heart. 
Honestly we were exhausted by the last months of lockdown and doing our absolute best every day to not just wrestle with our own difficulties, but to bring hope and direction to people who were suffering. 
We bear a burden that has been heavy for a long time and don’t have the luxury of not caring about people’s needs if they don’t live under our roof, and we needed to get away. 
We drove through the mountains for nearly five hours on our day off Monday and I listened to a song called God of Revival (which we performed the following week live) while gaping in awe at the majesty of creation. 
The same God who made all of this is certainly the one we turn to in times of trouble. 
Most of our grandparents came from countries of famine or war, thanked God for their narrow escape and his blessing of land and freedom, but I can’t help but think how they would feel if they knew the generations that followed them would be like “Thank you God for all your stuff, but we’re too educated for you now and don’t need you.”
The mountains don’t care about your education. Your understanding can maybe stack a few rocks on top of other rocks, but it can’t make them from scratch (let alone rearing up mountains).
It was a shock and awe campaign on my brain. 
As a pastor, people often want you to take their side on an issue to validate their opinions to whomever they happen to be arguing with at the time. 
I rarely take people’s sides on issues because that’s not really my job. My job is to ask “Is it working?” and to ask that everybody “act more like Jesus!”, including myself. I believe people in church actually pursue God in a weird way and try to get him on their team, but that doesn’t do what they think it will. 
First of all, the God who formed the mountains is on his own team and doesn’t need your agreement or worship to validate him in any way, he’s not a god of Greek mythology. I need to worship because it fixes my thinking. 
Secondly, any god who might actually agree with everything you currently think should be deeply distrusted. Heart people tell themselves their emotions are always right, even though everything they did that they regret felt right in the moment.Head people trust their own brains but manage to selectively forget their brains fully agreed with every stupid thing they’ve ever done (like the time I hit a truck with a huge water balloon in front of my own house (just ring the doorbell of the stupid kid standing awkwardly in the yard to talk to his mother:). 
Worship reminds me that nothing began with me and it won’t end with me, and my life had better find some meaning or it’s a complete waste of oxygen. 
Riding on a bike through the mountains is good for the soul. The weather was hot and we just kept gawking around with no obstructions to our mostly 360 degree view (I still had to keep it on the road). We road from the top end of the Bow Valley Promenade to Lake Louise and back to Airdrie on the 1A from Canmore. 
We stopped at a stream filled with wild flowers and ate lunch. 
We also stopped thinking we were in ultimate charge of anything and rested knowing we were not, but rested completely knowing the one who is. 
I think God gave us a choice in the beginning of time and I think we didn’t bake cookies with the gas from the oven, we tasted sin and set the world on fire. 
He is calmly drawing us back to safety but we are a stubborn and proud bunch who keep picking fights with life and love because it gives us a sense of control. 
The mountains reminded me of control’s illusion and I’m glad to have a laugh now, and actually can, because the pressure has been relieved for awhile. 
The deep needs persist, but the mountains remind me that God can’t respond to need but only to faith. 
But does it take faith to believe in the God of the mountains? 
I think it takes more faith NOT to…

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