Several years ago we were invited to share our faith stories with others in the congregation.
Since I'm visiting my homeland this week, and it plays a large part in my faith story, I thought I would revisit my story.
This is Pike's Peak emerging from a cloud cover. It lies almost in the middle of the state of Colorado. "Pike's Peak or Bust" became the slogan during the Colorado Gold Rush of 1858-61. In 1893 it served as inspiration for Katharine Lee Bates to write the song "America the Beautiful" after observing the view from the top of the mountain. Pike's Peak isn't the highest mountain in Colorado, it doesn't even rate in the top 10. But it stands alone on the edge of the Front Range, and can be easily seen for hundreds of miles from the Eastern Plains of Colorado.
These are the Kissing Camels at Garden of Gods, directly east of Pike's Peak. There are a series of rock formation here at the edge of the Eastern Plains. You can see the red rocks that gave Colorado its name. Garden of the Gods is a geological showcase. The rocks show the layers of sediment that hardened into rock.
The vertical striations in formations such as The Three Graces show the result of the tectonic plates pushing against each other and creating the Rocky Mountains.
I know the science. I believe the science. I have no problem with the geological explanation of how all of this was created.
At the same time, places like this are how I know God exists.
I remember when it first happened. I was driving down from Mt. Evans one day. There are a lot of steep hairpin turns on a narrow road. It requires a lot of attention from the driver. There is no shoulder on the road, and no guard rails to keep you from literally falling off the side of the mountain. There is one spot where the road straightens out a bit after coming around a curve. I remember looking up at the sun-bathed valley in front of me and being absolutely overwhelmed.
Mountains do that do me. They overwhelm me. They are "purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain." They show me that there is guiding hand of something greater than science, greater than humans.
I know others feel the same way about the ocean and beaches, or blooming flower gardens at Longwood.
I hope everyone has found something that overwhelms them, that reminds them that there is something much greater in our lives than just us.