Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Psalm 139: 14-18

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

17How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.

Today I visited the Exit Glacier near Seward, AK. It gets its name from the fact that the early explorers of the Harding Ice Field, nestled in the Kenai Mountains, used this glacier as an exit from the ice field. The Harding Ice field, the source of the glacial ice, gets 400-800 inches of snow a year, and it takes 40-50 years for this ice to compress to the density of glacial ice. It takes about 100 years for the ice at the top of many of Alaska's glaciers to reach the bottom.

It's hard to think of a glacier as a "living thing" at first. At first glance, it looks like an immobile dirty lump of ice that just sits there and does nothing but wear down what's below it from pressure. But as you get closer, you realize this glacier really does move. You see the evidence of its motion in the little moraines nearby--pebble-ized bits of rock ranging in size all the way from boulders to pea gravel. You hear it creak and groan. You feel the catabatic rush of cool air wafted on the air currents, like the feeling of ten thousand ice chests being opened in your face. It is only then you realize that it lives and breathes.

Glacial ice is so dense, so compressed, so thick, that parts of it appear blue. Its density absorbs all the longer light wavelengths so it reflects an almost neon blue.

One of the advantages of visiting the glacier "after the tourist season is over" is that I got to spend a fair bit of time, literally, alone with the glacier. For a half hour or more it was just "me and the glacier." I sat there a long time and just watched and listened.

I thought about the weight of that glacier, the weightiness of some of my own thoughts, and the weightiness of God's thoughts. Thought about how time and pressure transforms them. I imagined my own weighty thoughts as snowflakes on the top of that glacier. In the beginning, they blow around and spread themselves everywhere. Just basically running around in chaos. Over time some freezing and thawing occurs, and they condense. More snow comes in on top of it.

Those weighty thoughts become denser and more transformed; they burrow deeper into the glacier and become incorporated in with all the other weighty thoughts in God's reign. In other words, at some point they no longer become "your" thoughts. They're God's--and they absorb all the longer, distracting parts of the spectrum of light, and glow blue. They become part of a holy, transformed thing that no longer belongs to "you."

Even if you tried to chip "your" thoughts out with an ice pick and take them back, you no longer have in your hands either "what it is" or "what it was." They only glow blue if you leave them alone, incorporated in all those other weighty thoughts. Remove them and they are simply a hunk of ice with only minimally more "staying power" than an ordinary ice cube. Neither are they the easily blown around chaotic thoughts they used to be. They were better off being left in the glacier, glowing blue and being mixed in with the rest of the weighty thoughts.

The glowing blue ice in the Exit Glacier reminds me that placing our weighty thoughts on the altar is not just a "giving up" but a "gain."



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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