Something stirs and I turn left at the end of the paved pathway flanked by lawn in winter colors. A left that takes me right away from my accustomed quiet corner. Away, but towards something strangely and warmly familiar…
I think I might find it… Through wispy grass and a forest that’s since been thinned.
True as the sunrise, there it is. The top stones have tumbled down the hill a way, but the foundation is still here. It only takes a moment, and a ten-year old altar has been restored.
Ten years ago I encountered God for myself on this hillside as a boy, and we struck up a friendship that has become the reason I breathe.
Much-Afraid gathered homely little stones.
I just build the altars.
At every page turn, I’ve turned, built another.
I stand and look, thoughts afar. Reaching back for what sort of prayers I prayed here, who my friends were when last I knelt here, what my goals were when I left here to build new…
And I remember. I remember the next…
I stop to count.
Seven altars. Ten years.
I’ll find them all today.
There’s something priceless about the remembering. The whole trek will take me an hour and a half. To all the places witness to the forever moments in my experience. The hallowed ground where God was always waiting to keep an appointment, where I trembled and triumphed, and learned to trust Him absolutely.
I wander and emotions sometimes flood, but after I’ve been up and over, down the draw and past ground I haven’t covered in a decade, one question throbs–
Not whether or not I found my dreams.
I want to know whether or not I’ve fulfilled His.
Take it from me, 10 years later.
This is all that matters.