I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 121
I’ve been waving the “Five Years” flag a lot lately. Last weekend it was “five years since the day we said ‘goodbye’ to our church in Florida,” this week it’s “five years since we arrived in North Carolina,” next week it’s going to be “five years at WFPC.”
So it was fitting, then, that Rebekah and I drove into North Carolina’s from the west Tuesday morning, five years to the day from when we drove in from the south to begin our adventure here.
We woke up in Gatlinburg, looking out from the balcony at the view I captured in the first dozen photographs. Then we drove through the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and past Clingman’s Dome into North Carolina. Finally, we hopped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for the next 100 miles to Ashville. The last few images were taken from Mt. Pisgah where we had a late lunch, took in the epic vista, and congratulated ourselves on moving to such a beautiful state.
By the time we arrived home in Wake Forest we were both tired from four days of traveling and renewed by the powerful experience of worship, ordination, and fellowship in Tennessee. But we were not nearly ready to re-engage the responsibilities and the demands that define so much of life in the day-to-day world.
So it is good to take pause when and where we can, and to understand this world from the perspective of mountains, where the long view is the only view that counts, and where even fires and storms have little to say about the future, a plan that is even wider and deeper than the Appalachians themselves.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Maker, the Redeemer, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of all.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.