Glimpses of God In Bavaria

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

This past Saturday, Lizzy and I went on a beautiful hike in the Bavarian Alps to the top of the Kampenwand. There we saw God’s handiwork everywhere. There was a waterfall that was really beautiful and at the top of the mountain there was a cross and a small chapel. On all the mountain hikes in Bavaria there is always a cross and chapel along the route. Lizzy and I ate at a small mountain cabin serving food called an “Alm” in German. In the Alm, people were singing and celebrating a wedding that had occurred in the chapel. The views from the top of the mountain were spectacular and there were cows everywhere in the high pastures.

I just can’t help but think of the importance of staying in the present moment and noticing God’s beauty everywhere. The Mountains remind me of God in that they are high and mighty but accessible and approachable, the wedding reminds me of God in that he created us to be together and to have joy and happiness and the cows remind me that God created animals to help us live and sustain us. The fact that the cows were in the high alpine pastures reminds me that they would be on the way down to lower pastures in the fall when Almabtrieb or the driving of the cows down into the valleys occurs and is a cause for celebration.

The quiet of the high mountains is always a time to reflect that in our busy days we miss the precious moments of silence where God is trying to speak to us. It is when we get into nature and into the high places that we can commune easier with God.

As the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us in verse 14 “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”

The Plaque at left was on the top of the Kampenwand. Translated it says: Big and wide far as eternity before us spread, this Majestic Mountain jeers. Only God is Great and exalted, so praise Him at all levels, for only He is from eternity. So the next time you're out in the beautiful mountains, wherever you happen to be, let the mountains, the animals and celebrations around you remind you that God created us and everything we see for us to praise and revere Him.

God’s greeting and blessing to you from Bavaria.

Matt Schneider

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