The One Where I Visit God

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.” 
― John Lennon

Okay, I’ve said in previous posts that I’m a religious sort. This is not necessarily due to my religious training, but more with the feelings inside of me. Today I’m going to talk a bit about God. I like this quote from John Lennon- because I think I get what he is saying.

You see, I think that even people who don’t think they know God, or refuse to accept that they do, still experience God. And it’s this experiencing Him that we each interpret in our own way. Let me see if I can explain-

To some people God manifests as something so simple as inspiration. Or love. You may feel it when you hold your baby and your heart is about to overflow, or burst. To some, this feeling is a manifestation of God. To some it is a small voice that speaks to their heart or mind- something clearly beyond themselves. To them, this is the manifestation of God. Another might see God in the division of cells, or the rotation of the planets. The way that certain chemicals react, the way protein chains build- this could be interpreted as God. And always, the things that are beyond our knowledge, beyond our sphere of existence, our understanding- these things, couldn’t they also be manifestations of God?

I think I do identify myself as religious, but more importantly, I am spiritual. And I think that, for me at least, this simply means that I’m open to things beyond my 5 mortal senses. I’m open to all of these manifestations of God.

I’m addressing this today because there are certain places where I feel God more than others, and my trail today took me to one of these places.

It’s rightfully named Zion National Park, and the area where I was today is just as rightly termed Kolob. I ran up the Taylor Creek trail just as the light was bright enough to show the trail. The creek crossings were mostly frozen enough to prance over, but some were slippery and dangerous. Much of the trail was re-frozen snow and ice and required all my technical skill to maintain forward progression.

The last time I did this trail I hiked it with my sister, Wendy. I was filled with nostalgia and missing her again today. But I had Adam Levine to keep me company so that helped.

As I ran the sunlight grew, the sky filled with pale blue. The trail was mostly rolling, but with some technical steep parts, and many water crossings. At the 2.5 mile point the trail peters out at the Double Arch alcove. If there are actual real-life arches there, I couldn’t see them.

But the alcove is like a magical place. The walls on either side are maybe 100 ft apart and rise 400 feet into the air. The rock formations are a bright burnt pink, fleshy orange. And as I stood there, absorbing the air, the scent, the feeling of the place, I looked up at the tops of the cliffs and watched the first rays of dawn set them on fire. As I stood there the sun rose, dripping down the cliffs. Manifesting God.