Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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September 8 Post

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“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” - John 1:5

Climbing the 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado will humble even the fittest of athletes. The day can start out fair and conclude with a white-out blizzard, in July. The toe of a boot caught among rocks can cripple the climb and result in an arduous limp back to the parking lot. A mis-read topographic map may lead to bushwhacking out of a blind canyon, having missed the peak. Despite the ever-present possibility of foul weather, injury, failed gear or getting lost, the false peak remains one of a climber’s greatest challenges.

Those of you who hike or climb know what I’m talking about. After slogging up 5,000 feet of elevation gain all day from base camp, elation appears as the peak finally appears in sight. Yet upon reaching the summit, it becomes clear that the peak you thought signaled the end of the climb, only offered a respite. The true summit, now visible from the false peak, looms yet ahead. What promised to be the turning point before celebrating a successful climb and turning for the descent, now becomes a resting point before several more hours of treacherous rock scramble to the top.

Even those of us who participate in mountain climbing experiences via National Geographic from the Lazy Boy understand exactly what hitting the false peak is like. We thought we were emerging from CoVid 19, vaccinated and unmasked. We tentatively climbed out into a world to visit with friends and pick up milk at the grocery store. We started leaving our masks in the car. As it turned out, our jubilance was short lived, a false peak that promised and failed to deliver. The new normal we hoped would come, slipped out of sight with the advent of Delta Variant infections that brought us to our knees.

We feel discouraged, weary, and disappointed. We hate watching the world spin off the rails on the evening news, with one more tale of overworked nurses, and fires, and floods and crazy politics and wars and endings of wars that should feel good but don’t. Are you with me?
Do not despair. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.” When your trodden feet seem too heavy to bear, look up. God shines a beacon into the world within your sight, a thin light by which you may find your way.

Prayer: God, who illumines a way out of no way, guide our path and strengthen our steps for the journey. No matter where you lead or how long it takes, forever we trust in you. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Dr. Anna V. Copeland