Chasing Blue Mountain
When we were walking from Utah into Colorado last week, we came across a sign for Blue Mountain. There are tons of Blue Mountains in the country, but this happened to be the one that crossed our path. Thanks to a Christian musician named Brandon Heath, Blue Mountain has been a strong spiritual metaphor for me through the past year or so in my life. These mountains are not actually blue, but only appear blue from a distance due to the merging of the browns and greens present in the mountains. Spiritually and eschatologically, I have liked to consider myself on a pilgrimage to a true Blue Mountain, a Blue Mountain that is actually blue. The idea is that my destination will be what it seemed to be while I was on the journey. The obvious example of a Blue Mountain in my life is heaven, but there have been several other smaller examples. Many times during this walk, my Blue Mountain has been the support van. I expect AC, granola bars, and a 45 minute break from walking, and all of these expectations are fulfilled. I have found a beauty in believing that all of my expectations of eternity with God will be fulfilled as I have hoped them to be. This weekend, however, my thinking started to change. I met a family at a church outside of Salt Lake City. This family included a 2 year old girl with Down syndrome. Her parents were extremely pro-life, and her father talked to one of my teammates and I for a long while. When the topic of preparing for a child with Down syndrome arose, he told us a very interesting metaphor. He told us to imagine preparing for a vacation to Spain, holding the idea of such a vacation in heart and mind, only to exit the plane and realize that you were in Holland instead. Holland isn’t what you expected and, most likely, isn’t what you were hoping for. You confusedly wander around giant fields of windmills and wonder what to do. Eventually, however, you accept that where you ended up isn’t what you were expecting, and you start to find the beauty of Holland. This father has come to truly and profoundly love his daughter because he was able to accept that she wasn’t what he was expecting, and he found beauty in her for who she was, not for who he was expecting her to be. Eventually (within a day or so) I realized that Blue Mountain had to take on a new meaning in my life. I have to accept that God has a beautiful plan for my life, and I could never predict what that will look like. God is still calling me to continue my pilgrimage to Blue Mountain, but I must believe that whatever God has in store for me when I reach the top is far greater than anything I could ever imagine. Sometimes things happen in our lives that don’t match our expectations and hopes, but I believe that God is in control and is bringing beauty out of all situations regardless of how we perceive them. All we have to do is say to ourselves the tiny phrase at the end of the Divine Mercy Chaplet: Jesus, I trust in you.