Thoughts at the Summit: Lion’s Head Mountain & the Reality of Beauty

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After serving in the morning and hiking for what seemed like hours, we had finally made it to the summit of Lion’s Head Mountain. The trek had been risky and physically demanding. However, the top was worth it. The view was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire life.

So here I was- sitting on top of this mountain on the tip of Africa- wondering how I had even gotten there. How my life had come to this. How my God is a good, good Father. What I didn’t know is that I would be preaching to a room full of 500 kids within the next day or so about this very topic.

But what I DID know in this moment was that many people spend their entire lives in desire of a moment like this. A moment away from all things…just looking in awe at the world from afar. In awe of the mountains. In awe of the way the ocean and the sky seamlessly met and matched one another.

BUT

I had a moment of sadness also.

Yes, it’s gorgeous. Yes, I am in awe. However, the reason I am disappointed is not because of what I am seeing. It is due to a longing for what I am NOT.

I came to this realization as I found myself feeling empty.

See, if a person spends their entire existence yearning for a beautiful view that can only be SEEN, they will never find REAL and lasting beauty. I was suddenly finding that real beauty is not something that can be captured by the eyes. Because although I could SEE with my eyes an incredible beauty, it was only making my heart long for the One who CREATED it.

See, a beautiful view is fleeting. I would climb back down from that mountain. I would go back home from South Africa. I would never get that moment back again. It was a beautiful MOMENT. But that’s just it. It was just a MOMENT. It went away. It didn’t last. My soul would still be in search of something more…something greater….something only the Spirit could provide me. I realized in that beautiful moment that I wanted only one thing. And it was the thing I was MADE for. The thing that far surpassed the earthly beauty that I was seeing:

I wanted Heaven. 

I wanted to be there. With my Father. The one who created this view…and who created Heaven. My home. My REAL home. For my heart will never truly rest in any home here on earth. This is why as humans we can move and continue to make new “homes” all over the world….because none are truly homes. They aren’t permanent because nothing here on earth can be deemed permanent. We will always be searching for something more. For something beautiful….a life that’s beautiful. A life that’s beauty-FULL. A life that’s FULL.

So in that moment, I had found something beautiful. But it made me sad. For I desired the source of all beauty instead. But it also made me joyful- for I knew that the source was very much WITH ME in this moment. No, I could not see Him with my eyes. But I knew He was there. All I had to do was look down.

I was sitting on a rock. Written on that rock in large capital letters was this:

“FULLNESS OF CHRIST”

He’s closer than you know. Always. {The song, “Closer Than You Know” by Hillsong United is actually playing right now from my Spotify. And no, I didn’t expect that.}

I don’t know what beautiful soul wrote those words on that rock. But I have no doubt that The Spirit led them to do so. And that’s more beautiful than any view could ever be. It was a simple reminder that even this breathtaking view didn’t compare to the full beauty found in the fullness of Christ…the fullness found in knowing Christ…in loving Christ.

A storm rages outside as I type this. Yet beautiful things are happening. The earth is being cleansed. As am I. For I see beauty in a new light now. It isn’t something limited to what we SEE with our eyes…but more so what we FEEL and EXPERIENCE in our hearts. In fact, I experienced more beauty in the township of Lower Crossroads we worked in than I ever did on that mountain.

This quote by C.S Lewis explains a lot of my feelings right now:

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Don’t get me wrong, it was a gorgeous view. However, it made me realize that this wasn’t IT. This wasn’t enough. It was just a gorgeous glimpse into the works of our Father. And I didn’t just want what I was SEEING in front of me; I wanted its CREATOR.

But in the meantime, I will do my best through Christ to carry out my ultimate purpose- to bring others home one day to this place called Heaven too. And what’s more beautiful than that?

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