The Company I Keep
To celebrate the completion of a chapter of the book, I’m joining four guys from the local church tomorrow in an attempt to climb Wilson Peak, one of Colorado’s more than fifty fourteeners. The leader of the team is a scientist from NASA, who commutes weekly from Ridgway to Houston (you really have to love the mountains), whose job is to construct and install all the batteries, large and small, for vessels flying into the heavens, and who, at six feet and four inches tall, has a stride twice as long as mine, and who is rumored to leave hiking companions in the dust, wheezing and gasping at altitude for breath, while he merrily ascends his peak. On the phone today he instructed me ‘Travel lightly!’ by which I think he means ‘You better keep up!’ Unfortunately, this letter won’t reach you in time to ask your prayers for this expedition, but I believe in the efficacy of retroactive prayers.
The musical fare will change shortly, in exactly a week actually, when a much-anticipated rendezvous with my Sweetheart and two boys will take place. I can already hear the rap warming up, the genre and specialty of one of our sons, the latest specimens of which I always appreciate hearing (you’ve got to admit nothing matches the beat).
Ridgway Community Church, with Pastor Roger at the helm, proclaims a very clear gospel of Jesus Christ each Sunday, and the church family couldn’t be warmer. They have embraced me, followed the book writing closely, and are giving me encouraging feedback about No Ordinary Marriage. By now, I’ve come to know by name at least half the 150 or so members, most of whom give visible evidence of deeply loving the Lord Jesus Christ.
So there it is, for those of you asking, the outline of my days on writing leave. Too vacant of people, for sure, and hence at times quite lonely, but replete with many good things – the word of God, prayer, writing, breakfast, writing, running, mountains, trees, meadows, deer, elk, kestrels, snakes, dinner, novels, music, sleep, and, on Sundays, church. Do you know what makes these things extra special? It’s when I take them a step farther – when I don’t leave them as good things in themselves, but go beyond them and discover the Infinite Love undergirding them. Going that step farther, reminds me how much God loves me. He has given me all these things for my delight . . . because he loves me. And none of the things I just mentioned includes his greatest gift of all, which is far more than the sum total of all the others – the gift of Jesus Christ, who has both purged the power of my sin and paid the penalty of my sin. And, as if that wasn’t enough, he has proceeded to give me new life, his life, fullness of life, infinitely full life, as he, the Infinitely Full One, comes to dwell in my heart.