Daily Word of Grace # 170 (November 9, 2020)
A particularly fascinating book written by the “Father of the National Parks”, John Muir (1838-1914), is The Yosemite (1912), in which he describes “riding” an avalanche: “The wallowing ascent had taken nearly all day, the descent only about a minute. When the avalanche started I threw myself on my back and spread my arms to try to keep from sinking…and as the whole mass beneath and about me joined in the flight there was no friction, though I was tossed here and there and lurched from side to side. When the avalanche came to rest I found myself on top of the crumpled pile without a bruise or scar” (66). You may experience a metaphorical avalanche in your life in which the ascent took a long time—perhaps a personal relationship or work promotion or financial goal—only to be eclipsed by a descent caused by an avalanche that only takes a minute. Muir shows us the best thing to do when this happens: throw ourselves on our back and spread our arms—in other words, surrender to God’s grace and commend the whole situation to God. The psalmist put it this way, “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord…I trust in you, O Lord; and I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand” (Psalm 31:5, 14-15). When the avalanche of Good Friday overtook Jesus, that is exactly what he did as he suffered with spread out arms and prayed, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Love and Prayers,