There are some blogs you just don’t know how to start. I honestly don’t know how to get this one going…It has sat on my mind for months…I’ve looked at the photos for this blog so many times.
I originally started this conversation with God and named it the “man in the trees” but I have a hard time writing about. I called it the “man in the trees” because that is where I was…closest to God’s creation as this old soul can get. Some stories aren’t fairytales, some aren’t perfect, some aren’t happy, some stories are just journeys and this case is just something I just want to tell. The journeys may mean nothing to some people and others the epic corners of our mental capacity. This is one of those things I want to pass on but don’t know if I have the words to describe.
So the best way for me to start this off is just dictating an audio recording of myself. The back drop is Missoula, due north, on a nice trail that climbs out of the northern city limits and deeply into the forested areas of a man’s dreams. I went there with purpose. This time was to get away from it all. I needed answers. There was something in my life, not worthy of words here, but at the time was a huge thorn in my side. We’ve all had them, These moments that pop up in life, internal conflict, strife, anguish, all over something that our God answers in His timings. The gift of hindsight always clears these moments for us.
About two and half miles into a zig, zag escalating trail this deep breathing, oxygen deprived man began talking to the trees. To me the trees aren’t just some hippy “connection” to nature they are a deeply rooted communion with my Lord. When I hike I rarely am pushing myself to get to spots, I’m there to be at peace, find peace, and let go of this world’s terrible weight. I don’t know how or why my phone recorded the following but it did. I discovered it weeks later when trying to create space on my phone. I don’t actually remember this exact conversation because it sounds like I’m talking to someone.
“When I’ve hurt someone or made someone mad and it’s my fault…and there is no words or actions at the time that I can take care of it. One thing I like to do is get ‘above it’, or in other words to get higher…and I don’t mean the 420 kind…I mean the kind that get’s you above the world, and closer to God, elevation. In a perfect world for me that would always be in trees, ‘ah these mighty trees’…what they have seen? You think your their first sinful chump that has walked by their path? You don’t think they have seen this before? I stand here crying out to God: “Why Lord? Let the trees speak to me”…as you let things come into focus the trees start to talk…they sway in unison…the green moss looks somehow greener and the noise of birds can rival any flute…” …The audio goes on to pick up some awesome swaying of the trees…(I attached the actual audio below).
What you would have seen if you were the trees looking down on me is a man standing, with his head bowed, deep flowing tears, arms out stretched at shoulder height, palms up and one of the deepest places I’ve ever been. The prayers and time with God that followed are mine to cherish but an example of what God’s creation can do for you. In this situation the audio picked up in a portion of my conversation where I thought I had done something wrong…roughly thirty minutes later of prayer, hiking, and conversing with my trees I asked my God to RIP this away from me.
Two days later it was gone. Ripped away from me. At the moment it hurt like hell…days later the wound began to heal and God’s will was revealed. I had it all wrong and the situation that was ripped from me was not my doing, I had been blinded but in God’s perfect timing my eyes were opened, saved from a very bad situation. His planning had to be shown to me in His way. In these moments of truly giving it all to God we can truly reach those moments walking in his path and not our own. He is in control. Look up, your God has you firmly in his grasp.
Nearing the end of my 14 mile journey I collapsed on the trail. I had pushed myself way to hard physically and emotionally. I laid there on my back, looking up through the trees asking God for that amazing view into the heavens to be my last. Not knowing how the next couple days would unfold. I don’t know how long I laid there but a peace passed upon my soul and into my very flesh. I sat up and got to my feet renewed.
A twig snapped about 20 feet above where I had been laying and I looked up to a mangy canine seated above me. I froze as I assessed the situation. I don’t know if it was male or female, it was two small to be a wolf, mottled enough to be a medium weight and height feral dog or healthy coyote but to be honest none of these thoughts crossed my mind. This dog sat with his front paws crossed, his tounge wagged out the side of his mouth, his eyes showed no aggression and maybe showed curiosity (probably from watching this strange man yelling at trees!). The dog stood up, shook its body and worked the shake up to his neck. It gave me one last look and then trotted off into the forest where I had come from.
I didn’t know what to think of the spectacle I just bore witness too but I’d like to believe he was watching over me. Exhausted, I made it back to my vehicle, drove back into Missoula, stopped to fill someones gas tank and made it back to my motel. Life is good. Friends I pray you allow the Lord to work in you with ways you can not fathom. As I finish this blog and I’ve read it I don’t really understand why I wrote it. A friend from the UK once told when encouraging me about my faith, “If your speaking your heart and if affects one person for good then you have in affect moved a mountain.”