I have lived in Southwest Virginia for three years now.
Over my time here, I have come to appreciate many aspects of Blacksburg, but what I have come to love most and simultaneously take for granted is that I have a view of the mountains at almost any time.
There is something so significant about the mountains.
Perhaps is is that they are a constant reminder of God’s might and sovereignty. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus tells us that if we have faith, even as little as a mustard seed, that we can say to a mountain to move into the sea, and it will. Sometimes it is all I can do to even have one ounce of faith. I suppose that if it was God’s desire for us to physically move a mountain, we could verbally tell a mountain to move, and it would. But I think that more often, our mountains are obstructions and barriers, attempting to step in the middle of where Jesus is directing us to. I have come to the realization that what Jesus was telling his followers was that his desire for us is to look at our mountains with complete faith in who our God is. Then we can confidently, by faith, tell them to move into the sea.
If you know me at all, you know I love to be around the water.
Especially if you follow me on social media, you know that aside from mountains, I also love to be in the ocean, on a lake or a river, doesn’t matter. If I can wakeboard in it, surf in it, paddleboard or kayak in it, I love it. In Matthew’s gospel, he tells the story of Simon Peter walking on the water. Simon Peter sees Jesus walking on the water towards the disciples’ boat and says, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28). Jesus responds with only the word “come”. Later, Jesus renames Simon to Peter, which means rock. Of course, we know that Jesus symbolically gives him this name because Peter was to be the rock of the church. In the Greek, the word for church is “ekklesia”, which means “called out ones”. Just as Jesus called Peter out on the water towards him, he called him to be the foundation of the church. For me, the water is a quiet yet powerful reminder that we are called into the waves, and we are called to have a faith that allows us to stand immoveable on an ever-moving surface.
Recently, I drove from Blacksburg to Lake Gaston.
I drove through many small towns, excited when I was able to drive over 35 mph. What I found though, is that the space between the mountains and the water, is monotonously flat. There is very little to see, and nothing that takes your breath away quite like the sight of a mountain peak or the first glimpse of open water. Perhaps in our faith walk, we have spaces in between; in between the peaks where we feel the strength of God’s glory, and the waves where we exercise our faith and belief in that glory. Maybe we need the spaces in between to rest and gather strength. Right now, I am in a particular phase of life that feels like not much is happening. I have grown a tremendous amount throughout college, and I can see a glimpse of my future ahead. But currently, there are many unknowns. There is a year stretching before me that is a space in between, and I suspect that I need it. I don’t want to wish away the space in between, the last moments before Jesus calls me to something bigger. I believe that there is something Jesus want us to see in the allegedly ordinary, undisturbed, indefinite space of time between the peaks and the walk into the unknown. So I am asking the Holy Spirit to fill the spaces in between, because it is here that God prepares us to walk into the imminent unknown, our eyes never wavering from His.