Some places make you feel like you’re on top of the world. High up spaces make you feel like you are closer to God for some reason. Even though the Bible shows us how God is present in all places, there’s just something about being up high that makes us feel as if we are closer to the presence of God. Jesus himself, didn’t shy away from the high up places either. Luke 6:12 tells us that Jesus, “went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” Jesus taught on high secluded places, and even preached his famous sermon on a mountain (Matthew chapters 5-7).
This past June, our high school seniors took a trip to Islamorada in the Florida Keys to celebrate their graduation. It was a trip filled with adventure, gorgeous views, beach time, and tons of great food and memories. We weren’t around any mountains, but the house we were staying in was just a couple of miles from a large high-rise bridge that connected our island to the next one. On such a flat island, this tall bridge was the closest thing we had to a mountain top. Being on the peak of this bridge allowed you to see for miles and miles. We hopped in the van to drive across the bridge once just to see what was on the other side, and once again for a little day trip to Key West.
One morning I decided I wanted to go out for some exercise. I was feeling adventurous, so I laced up my running shoes, and I started out on my way. I ended up running to the peak of the bridge and pausing at the top. There was a gentle breeze, but very little noise other than the cars that were occasionally passing by. From where I was standing, I could see all the way across the channel and beyond to the ocean on both sides. I felt like I was ON TOP OF THE WORLD.
As I stood there letting the breeze hit me, catching my breath, I looked out at the water. I saw the big boats that looked oh so tiny from up high, the giant waterfront mansions off to one side, and the long drop to the water below me. This was truly a high place, and God was there with me. This spot gave me the space to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation, how vast it is, and how we humans are but a drop of water or tiny grain of sand compared to our creator. It struck me with awe and wonder.
Little moments like this one can catch us all by surprise, take our breath away, and give us a different kind of perspective. I didn’t expect to go that far on my run, to stop on the top of the bridge, or to experience God in the way that I did. But it happened, and it made me think… When’s the last time you’ve had an “awe and wonder” type experience? When have you experienced God’s presence in an unexpected way? Be on the lookout, because your next one might catch you by surprise.
BY: Rev. Gavin Spell, Minister to Students