Up on the mountain

30 years have passed and now I am back on the West Coast in Bohuslän. I do not remember exactly in which city we spent our holiday, but now it was in Tjuvkil, located right near the popular Marstrand. How circumstances are intertwined in time and space is inconceivable to my mind to include. There must be a higher power behind it. Then I visited the West Coast together with a couple of friends Eva-Lena and Niklas. It was months before I came to believe that this higher power “God” was the Christian God of my childhood.

That summer I was probably unbearable. I drank almost no alcohol anymore and I just wanted to talk to everyone about God. I devoted myself to this at all the parties I went to and in all other places. Those who did not want to talk about God, they were superficial, I thought. I enjoyed the beautiful sea views from the steep cliffs of Bohuslän and also to study, from the bridge, the magnificent red stingrays with their long spectacular and frankly dangerous tentacles. Of course, I valued fellowship with my friends, as long as they talked to me about the meaning of life, which now in my opinion was that God existed. But I mainly enjoyed meditating alone in the mornings high up on a mountain on a cliff nearby where we lived. I was both perplexed and amazed that God existed. It was something incredibly fascinating and something to reflect upon and change one’s life for. That there was a way to salvation, where I could choose to believe in and follow Jesus, I was not yet informed. That Jesus would be the bridge between heaven and earth, or God the Father’s outstretched hand to fallen humanity or simply the way back to God, life the divine and the truth that actually exists. In any case, I pulled myself up the mountain to meditate on this insight I had recently gained.

Praying to God, however, I knew nothing about how to. Jesus himself often withdrew and went up a mountain to talk to God his Father. So I kind of followed in his footsteps, before I even knew the importance of withdrawing in seclusion to associate with God. Certainly no mountain is needed for that fellowship. The important thing is that life with God should not primarily be boasted about. Jesus says we should hide in our prayer room and God who hears in the secret will then answer us. I can not say that mountains are what I usually choose, for my individual time with God. My husband Peter prefers to go for a prayer walk with listening to praise in his ears, mountains or not. My friend Sanna takes refuge in her cute car and takes a drive. There she does not have to be available to anyone else. No one can annoy her or her family pull on her dresses. She turns off her cell phone and puts on hymns in the car. I myself prefer silence and a closed door to the room I choose to pray in. However, I can even sit on a flight and turn off all the noise around. Prayer for me is not primarily to pray for things or people, but to connect my heart to the God of heaven. To let “deep cry to deep” and in that try to follow the flow of the Holy Spirit. Of course, it isn’t wrong to go up on a mountain to pray. I did it of course during the holiday stay in Tjuvkil. Peter fished for salmon and I sat on the mountain listening to God. I gave myself up in communion with my God and my Father. At the same time, I thanked the Holy Ghost for leading me back to the same place where I had meditated 30 years earlier. But now with so much more of God’s goodness in my luggage and no longer a heavy backpack of sin, as I now really know Jesus.

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