Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” of the Fishkill UMC bulletin for this coming Sunday, 23 February 2020, Transfiguration Sunday (Year A). Our services start at 10:15 and you are welcome to come and worship with us.
When I moved here in 1999 from Whitesburg, KY, I traded one part of the Appalachian Mountains for another and the headwaters of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Big Sandy Rivers for the aforementioned Hudson River.
If you stop and think about it, there have always been mountains and rivers in your life. Some are physical (Mt. Beacon and the Hudson River, for example); others are more ethereal (raising a child, taking a new job).
Sometimes mountains are a challenge. When George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he replied, “Because it’s there!”
Other times, mountains are an obstacle. Until Daniel Boone and others developed the Wilderness Road as a passage for settlers to transverse the Appalachian Mountains, the mountains were an obstacle to the expansion of this country.
Sometimes the mountains in our lives are more ethereal than physical. For a long time, completing my dissertation was a mountain I had to climb. When it was finished, it like standing on the mountain top, basking in the sunlight of completion and success.
Sometimes the mountains can give us a sense of what lies before us. As I drove back to Whitesburg after a business trip, I contemplated the path my professional life was taking. During the drive, I could see the Appalachian Mountains rising before me in the east and I heard the voice of God quoting the Psalmist,
I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I had to climb the mountain to find the answer; I had to go to the mountain top.
As you leave today, consider the mountains that you have climbed and the mountains that rise before you today. Know that the answer lies on the mountain top.