Tag Archives: Glacier National Park

Drops of Water on the Summit

Story of the Day for Saturday June 18, 2011

Drops of Water on the Summit

                       . . . Jesus firmly decided to go to Jerusalem. 

                                                             Luke 9:51

  Keri Russell said, “Sometimes it’s the smallest decision that can change your life forever.”

Triple Divide Peak, in Glacier National Park, is the only mountain in the world that feeds into three oceans. Rainwater falling on the western slope drains into the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, and eventually flows into the Columbia River — which drains into the Pacific Ocean. The northeastern slope flows across Canada into Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean. And rain from the southeastern slope feeds into Marias River, which flows to the Missouri, and then joins the Mississippi River to empty into the Atlantic Ocean.

Three raindrops could fall within an inch of each other on Triple Divide Peak, and each one would end up in a different ocean.

The religious authorities in Jerusalem wanted to arrest and execute Jesus, but they didn’t know how to get their hands on him. As long as Jesus stayed put up north in Galilee, he had a huge following of people who would protect him.

The most momentous stride in history was the first step Jesus took when he decided he would walk south to Jerusalem in order to die.

Making a decision and acting on it can change the entire destination of our lives. The problem is that – unless you decide to run for the presidency or to have yourself shot out of a cannon – no one really notices what you’ve done. Or cares.  No one finds the first inches a raindrop travels on Triple Divide Peak to be of any significance. Who noticed Jesus’ first footstep after he firmly resolved to walk the dusty road to his own execution?

We can talk a lot about God’s will. We can think a lot about The Dream that the Lord has put in our hearts, but everything depends on the direction of our first footstep . . . and taking it.

My friend, Carl, once asked me: “Three frogs are sitting on a log and one frog decides to jump into the pond. How many frogs are now sitting on the log?”

“Two,” I said.

“No, three. Because, until that frog acts on his decision to jump, he’s nothing but a frog sitting on a log.”

For several years now, I’ve wanted to climb Triple Divide Peak and pour a few drops of water on the summit – and think of the water levels rising in the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic Oceans.

I’ve never stood on the top of Triple Divide Peak, however, because I’ve never made the decision to do it. One of these days, though . . .

                                                  (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Dead Things Don’t Grow

Story of the Day for Monday June 12, 2011

Dead Things Don’t Grow

 

                                           . . . Just as you learned from us how to live in a manner pleasing to God, in the same way you are living, do so more and more. 

                                                                                          1 Thessalonians 4:1

 

My daughter, Erika, used to walk to work.  She had no choice.  Her summer job was at Schaeffer Meadows, a remote ranger station near Glacier National Park in Montana.  The closest road to the ranger station, at Morrison Creek, was 14 miles, but her usual route from Spotted Bear headquarters wound18 miles over a mountain pass.

Having completed a semester at NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, hiking 18 miles to work was no big deal.

 

Our family thought we’d just drop in for a visit one summer, so we hoisted our backpacks, hit the trail, and managed 300 yards before we stopped, exhausted, and had second thoughts about whether we were capable of completing an 18 mile hike.

The first day, we managed to trudge up to a high mountain lake near Whitcomb Peak. And the second day we straggled into the ranger station.

When we hiked out, we followed Morrison Creek and completed the 14 miles in one day.

 

My son, Randy, joined the Marines a couple months later. Basic training was no picnic. After their first ten mile hike, the exhausted recruits complained at how strenuous the hike had been.

Randy just smiled and said he had been hiking further than this in Montana.  At far higher elevation.  With a sixty pound pack.  And then the clincher . . .and accompanied by his five year old sister.

 

Faith is like that.  When we do more than we ever thought we could have done, we find there is still more that we can do that we never thought we could have done.

Paul is commending the congregation at the Greek town of Thesslonica.  They have been learning to apply their faith in Jesus and live in a way that pleases God.

And what does Paul say? “Good going, you guys!  Now, keep growing more and more.”

 

The life which Jesus calls us to is not static. We grow.  Look at how the Bible describes the church: we’re always growing.  Moving.  Building.

Growing doesn’t earn us eternal life.  It’s the other way around: you have to first be alive. Dead things don’t grow.

                                                            (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)