The Thinking Hill!
Above 50 years ago my family lived on a poor farm in Western Oklahoma. Back then we farmed some row crops but most of the land was in grass and we always ran several stock cows as well as dairy cows. Our house and barns were all located along a low lying creek area that was a tributary to Sadler Creek. The terrain of the land rose quite quickly as you went North from the creek back into the farm. A little over a quarter of mile North of the creek the land peaked out to a high hill that had some sparse clumps of grass but was mostly an outcropping of sandstone rock.
At the end of the day after chores were done I would often walk the narrow cow path up to the top of this hill and sit down to take in the beautiful view of the countryside. Wow! What an awesome view from up there. I could see way down into Greer County, way over into Washita County and parts of far Western Beckham County. I was around 12 or 13 years old when I first started making these evening visits to this hilltop and it was and still is one of my favorite spots in my life. As I would sit there the evening sun would gradually descend over the horizon and darkness would slowly cover my hilltop with a blanket of darkness. Back in those days we did not have all of the sodium vapor lights scattered all through the country side as we do now and when night settled over the land the evenings were magical with blackness that could only be known by having been there.
Along with the darkness came one of the Wonders of all Wonders to me, that awesome canopy of stars that hovers over our heads day and night but whose beauty can only be realized in seeing it against the backdrop of the blackest nights. It is really difficult to get the real impact of it today with all of the lights scattered around and the massive illumination of the area towns. Unless you have seen it in a completely dark setting you cannot fathom the majesty of it all. Sitting there I learned to observe some of the night constellations but the real wonder was the Great Milky Way. This is a band of stars that stretches across the heavens from one end to the other and is so filled with stars that it looks like a white belt of millions upon millions of tiny white dots. Looking at these stars and knowing there were millions of miles between each one of them it literally was and is still overwhelming to me as to how big this universe really is that we live in.
Long before I heard the words of the 8th Psalm, I, like the Psalmist said “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?” I knew at the age of 13 that God had quickened my heart and as I sat on that hill thinking about the vastness of this universe, I knew back then that God was bigger than all of this grandeur that I was beholding and wondered why…. why would He take time out of all His great creation, to visit any of mankind, let alone me sitting on that barren hillside, but oh! how I enjoyed those times He would spend with me on that old hilltop.
So my visits went on sitting on that old rocky hillside. I was 13 and coming of age and it was here that I began to put away childish things and consider this great creation that we live in. These were my formative years and the night winds and my thoughts that transpired on that hilltop shaped that young man to whatever I have become today. I can trace the deepest caverns of my soul all the way back up to that hilltop, sitting alone with God under the canopy of His great handiwork and learning from Him.
Some of you that read this have, in times past asked for my opinions, advice or prayers about various issues in your lives. If there was ever any knowledge, wisdom, or strength that I shared with you at those times they had their seminal beginnings on an old rocky sandstone hilltop a long, long, long time ago.
Today, when I drive down State Highway 152 I pass by this old farm. I always look with fondness at the old homesite along the creek and where the house and barns once stood. Those have all been long gone but many fond memories remain. Finally, I always lift my gaze upwards to that hilltop that still beckons to me and I long to go alone up there some night and once again just sit down and think. Over the years I have tried to pull away from everyone and everything to be alone to once again to sort things out in my mind. My precious wife of my youth unfortunately has always felt this was a sign of rejection of her and it never was. However, we have now been going steady for over 49 years and she has gradually realized this is my how I am wired and allows me these times to pull aside. I think she has come to know that I will be a better person when I return.
So, Why this blog? Having read several blogs of all kinds of topics on the internet and having experienced so many personal thoughts that friends have felt the liberty to share with the world via Facebook, I have concluded this world really doesn’t need another blog taking up time and space even if it is digital…. but I think I need it. I need a place to put down my thoughts and work through some things in my head. As one writer said “Over the lips and through the fingertips all of life’s problems are worked out”. Sometimes these thoughts breed so fast that they need ot be put down in writing to knead and mold them so they may mature to their intended ends. I thought perhaps some of you would like to look over my shoulder and follow along in this venture. Not because I have any great words of wisdom to say but in hopes that it might encourage you also to take some of those 1,440 minutes that God allots to you and me every day to do as Winnie the Poo said to “THINK, THINK, THINK”. Yes THINK about this world, your life, those around us and those things that you hold dear in this world, but most of all to THINK of our Heavenly Father and our relationship to Him, “For in Him we live, and move and have our being…”! Now that’s pretty encompassing isn’t it! He is not far from each one of us. As my friend Elder Brown would say “NOW THAT’S AWESOME!”
That’s the way I see it on this Pilgrimage to that continuing City!