When I was young and heard people mention “the desert” and Phoenix, I always thought it just was one giant flat sand box that extended for miles with saguaro cactus randomly dotting the landscape.
Imagine the delight when, many years ago, we came and found that it is surrounded by zillions of beautiful mountains!! There are literally mountains everywhere! In fact it’s 360 degree views of mountains around our beautiful city. And for this mountain-loving girl, it’s a dream come true.
Of course we once lived with a spectacular view of the Rockies, so no, the mountains surrounding Phoenix aren’t the Rockies, but they are so majestic and beautiful and this chica is truly grateful!!
There are mountains sprinkled throughout the city too! It’s crazy-amazing! Neighborhoods have mountains throughout them!! In fact on several occasions I have wanted to take a picture out our front door to show you, my friends, because we actually have a mountain view right out the front windows of our home.
As the crow flies, the mountain out our front door is maybe 1,000 feet away and I am so grateful for it. Dw, on occasion, will take a cup of coffee and sit on the rocker out front. When I come to join him, he will say, “Nope, it hasn’t moved.” Every time I notice it, I breathe a sigh of thanks to our great God for putting a little mountain right out my front door!!
Of course, in life there are so many “flip sides” to things, aren’t there?
I mean, you might love dogs but you will possibly have to deal with shedding.
City dwellers have so many wonderful conveniences and yet sometimes they have to deal with smoggy air.
People who live near the ocean (how fun would that be?) might have to deal with hurricanes and tropical storms.
And people who live near the mountains might have to deal with mountain lions.
Call me forgetful, but the other morning I stepped out on our back veranda and thought, “Whew!! A cat must have really sprayed in a big way!!” The place reeked. My mind thought, “Weird. We’ve lived here for almost 2 years and I’ve never smelled a cat spray here before. He must have sprayed in a really, really, really big way!”
I forgot about it as I went about my chores.
And then we were out front the other night when our neighbor stopped by. He wanted to give us a little ‘heads up’ that he and his wife had seen a mountain lion three times in the last couple weeks. Pointing, about 300 feet away, he told us he saw him cross “right there at that fence”. He said he’s been spraying the neighborhood marking his territory.
Another big gulp.
And then I remembered the “cat spray” smell. My mind was racing.
For those who’ve been hanging around Our Place for awhile, maybe you remember my encounter with a mountain lion? It’s here.
So to be quite honest, I am not a huge fan of mountain lions. Actually having stood within 40 of so feet of one, once upon a time, I am still not a fan. Actually I may be alone in this (haha), but I find them a little bit creepy. Okay, maybe “a lot bit creepy.” Maybe like,
“wet my pants and run screaming like a girly-girl creepy.”
And so that little puddy-tat has been on my mind since our neighbor stopped by. I mean, this home of ours has been a sweet comfort to my soul. The neighbors are delightful. The work-out center is amazing. The streets feel peaceful. Our home is perfect!! And my mountain view is breathtaking and refreshing….until I heard about that dumb mountain lion!!
And suddenly my peaceful, breathtaking, restful home became a place where without any warning, I could let fear take a permanent residence.
It is so easy for me to let fear invade!! Fear is what I have wrestled with off and on my whole life. And, rather legitimately, a mountain lion is something I’ve faced before. And truthfully, never really had any aspiration to face again.
So now knowing there is one roaming the neighborhood and marking his territory has given me a choice:
Live in fear – or – Walk in trust.
Cause they can’t walk hand-in-hand, can they?
So what am I gonna’ do? I’m choosing the latter.
Walking in trust.
How about you? Fear ever plague you? Or am I the only one? I am convinced that each of us have our own struggles. Fear happens to be mine. One of my favorite verses that, during some seasons, I’ve said hundreds of time a day is Isaiah 26:3.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Can you imagine how terribly sad it would be if I let fear rule my heart and I stopped walking in my neighborhood early in the morning? I can’t. And I won’t. He will keep me in perfect peace because my heart and mind has purposely, decidedly, intentionally decided to trust Him.
How about you? Live in Fear – or – Walk in Trust?
Come on!! Let’s walk together – courageously facing our fears and trusting our enormous, bigger-than-any-mountain-lion God!!
PS. Today is the last day to register for the Passion for Orphans retreat and I have the joy of being one of the Main Session Speakers. I’d love to hug your neck!! Details are here.