What’s Really Important?

Lower Lamarck Lake, above Bishop

Sometimes in my life I’ve gone through rough patches. These days I feel for folks who can’t make ends meet in the recession and slow recovery. The lives of others around the world are at risk from wars and repressive governments. However, a trip to the mountains helps me to put these things in perspective. It’s no excuse for not doing something to help these folks; actually, as I see the bigger picture of which I am part, I’m freed up to act.

A few summers ago I spent nearly a week in the eastern Sierra. I stood beside a broad green meadow dotted with white and yellow wildflowers and pools of clear, quiet water. I climbed a rocky trail to peaceful blue lakes among soaring cliffs.

Then one day I walked along the gentle trail above Lake Sabrina. I watched ripples move slowly down the mile-long lake, pushed by a gentle breeze. Swifts darted in mid-air. The soothing roar of a distant waterfall was the only sound.   I stood still and thought: This is happening in spite of what’s going on in our personal, business and political lives. It’s unaffected by our cares and worries. The mountains still stand tall, the trees and flowers still grow, and the ripples reassuringly move on down this lake and lakes everywhere, regardless of wars and recessions.

It’s apparent to me that this world and the grand existence to which we belong are unimaginably larger than governments, economies, ourselves and our anxieties. And by the wonderful grace of what we call God, each one of us has been made personally part of this. Awesome. What a blessing we have!

Makes you think about what’s really important, doesn’t it?

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About David McCoard

After earning my MS in geology I've done various things including managing the ski touring program at a small lodge in the Sierra. In 2010 I retired from Contra Costa College in California. I've always been fascinated by the mountains and nature and have spent countless days hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing in the Sierra. The spiritual insights I've learned there have set the course for my life. Now I have time to share them and strike up a conversation.
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