Altitude and Attitude

The snow started around 2 am on April 23, dropping between eight and ten inches of heavy, wet fluff here on Winding Ridge within 24 hours. By 9 am on Tuesday, the sun came out and began the melting process. Dave cleared off the Jeep and by 9:30 we turned the Jeep toward Morgantown for a major grocery shopping expedition.

Our conversation stopped as we entered Friendsville, a town about five miles from us; it had no snow at all. I peered behind houses, looking into the shadows — no snow!  Amazing the difference our altitude makes! When the weatherman says, “Expect more snow on the ridges,” he means it.

By Friday afternoon, all vestiges of snow disappeared, and the purple columbine had survived the snows of Monday. Despite a broken stem, it survived.

Since coming home from back-to-back trips to see our sons and their families, I’ve struggled with my emotional altitude, called attitude. Retirement, although it has afforded some tremendous opportunities to travel and see family and friends, has not always been easy for me. When we return to the quiet of the mountain, I miss everyone and struggle with the cold and the distances that separate us. I’m surely a trial to my dear husband during these reentries.

Yesterday my devotions in Romans took me to chapter 8, with its glorious opening: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ” But as I read through verses 1- 17, struggles, questions, and mental indecision assailed my mind. I wasn’t exactly Jacob wrestling with an angel all night, but my journal entry had far more questions than assurances. I thought of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.”  Unconsoled, I confessed my problem qualified more as whining than honest doubt.

Today, around midday, God met me in Romans 8:18-37. Reading from the ESV, I lifted my eyes, thanking the Lord for these three verses:  “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (v 26)  “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (v 31)  “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v 38)


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