Change Afoot

Well, here I am, up again at 4:00 a.m. unable to sleep for all the thoughts swirling through my mind. I am thinking this entire phase of my life is coming to and end and something completely new is afoot. I had not planned to spend another winter in this town. When Tricia passed last spring I began a purge of the life we had together with the intention of getting out of this town and this area by Halloween. Halloween is when the weather really turns ugly up here at 9,000 feet. Moving though was not my only goal for the summer and I got kind of busy with my photography and an unexpected friendship and the moving got put on the back burner.

But now the stark reality of winter and the long hours of darkness have enveloped Ute Pass, my new friend was forced to relocate out of the area and I am reminded of why I wanted so badly to be out of here by now. Winters are long, cold and lonely here in the high country and there is really nothing to do in this town. Rarely is there enough snow to go snowshoeing, while at the same time the trails can be icy and dangerous for regular hiking and many roads into the back country are impassable. The peak is in the dark and the whole area is just kind of ugly as far as picture taking goes. There are no jobs to speak of and there aren’t enough people here to sustain any kind of meaningful business. Year after year many businesses come and go, hoping in vain to make a living outside the rat race of the city at the bottom of the pass.

The only other choice for people who live here is to commute to the city, but the drive down the pass in the winter is long, often dangerous and certainly not guaranteed which puts a real damper on having a job that requires you to be there every day. So anyway, to the point, Yesterday was Sunday morning and for some reason the grim reality of the winter ahead really hit home. I was kind of throwing up my hands crying out to God and asking “What am I supposed to do now?” Immediately a verse from the bible came to me. The prophet Elijah, coming off a huge victory over the prophets of Bale was fleeing the city and Queen Jezebel who was less than appreciative over the loss of 400 of her so called prophets and was seeking to kill him. And God who was looking down on his plight found him a place to rest for a while:

1 Kings 17:2 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

So for a while, God sustained Elijah by the brook using the ravens to bring him food. But it was never God’s plan for him to retire there, only for him to rest for a season before moving on to his next task.

So it is with us today as well. Humans have a tendency to want to settle down, build the homestead and establish roots. But just as often, God’s plans are not our plans and if we refuse to let Him lead we may never realize our full potential. Elijah had more work to do and God forced him to move on by drying up the brook so that he could no longer be sustained in that place.

And that was the word for me on Sunday. The brook here has dried up and it is time to move on. Standing in the way of that move is one last pile of unneeded stuff that needs to be discarded somehow. It is the stuff that I wasn’t quite ready to get rid of and thought, “I may want this later”. It has been months now and I have had no interest in even reviewing what might be in there. I’m now sure I don’t need it and it can just go. After that I don’t know how or where the next phase of my life will begin, but at this time I really don’t need to know. I may be leaving here soon, or I may be just laying the ground work for something unknown. It doesn’t matter, God knows and as He often does, only one instruction at a time is given. Sometimes the only thing we know is that He has said, “get up and prepare for a journey” to see if we will take the first step in faith. It’s going to be a busy and difficult week, but I know it will be worth it in the end. For some time now I have been thinking of getting closer to Rocky Mountain National Park, or perhaps Yellowstone or maybe even the eastern slopes of the Sierra. Come what may.

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