These lights and windows shaped my thoughts of the sacred. I’d stare at the arches pointing upward and think of space without end. Infinite distances and time. God.
I’m thankful for those early encounters with the sacred, but later God became more boxed and packaged by the society around me. It seemed that “God” was used for adding credibility to opinions or as a way of excusing the mistreatment of others. I came close to rejecting the sacred as irrelevant. I felt a sense of loss, even though I continued to sit each week within walls similar to those of my childhood.
Creation became the place I could sense the sacred. In the outdoor world my thoughts could explore the infinite pointing ever upwards and into distances over the horizon. My cathedral expanded, and the walls of my childhood came down.
Walking is like praying. Traveling a trail is my place of worship, and I feel intense gratitude as I walk.
The sacraments might also appear along the paths. Stopping to drink from a mountain stream can be like sipping the finest communion wine, and the dry tortilla in my pack is unleavened bread.
The campfire is a place of contemplation. Brought together by its warmth and light, our community shares in the celebration of creation and the sacred we find there.