Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in. – Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), American Beauty

I never thought I’d grow to love winter vacations but I have thanks to Colorado. I’m not particularly fond of cold weather but I find new things to love about Colorado each time I visit. There’s so much to do and so much beauty to take in – I can almost understand why people withstand the cold to live there. Unlike my last visit to Denver, my recent trip was to celebrate the birthday and upcoming wedding of a dear friend. Our plan for the weekend was simple – have as much fun as we could, explore the city, try a new winter activity, and make sure our friend had an amazing time. We accomplished all of that and then some but I never expected to be humbled by nature and God’s majestic creations.

I should be used to the impact nature has on me by now but yet I’m surprised by how overwhelmingly beautiful it is. When it comes to trips I take or even events I go to I know that I should always expect to take something meaningful from each experience. Sometimes I’m intentional that way but often I show up simply to have a good time. And I definitely did during our time at Winter Park. Despite the cold we wandered around the village sipping our warm beverages and taking pictures whenever we could. We laughed at how ridiculous we looked in our snow suits and helmets and prepped for an hour ride up the mountain.

When we stopped halfway up and dismounted to get a better view of the area it hit me. I turned to my friend, Eleanor, and came clean. “Sometimes I look at all of the beautiful things in the world, and I know I shouldn’t, but I wonder how Heaven can top all of it.” As wild as my imagination is, it can’t quit fathom what Heaven is like. It’s just like when I try to imagine what God was doing before He created the Earth or how He has existed before time began – I hit a roadblock, I just can’t process it. In this case, I’m limited by the things I’ve seen. I’ve never seen Heaven but I have seen the marvelous creations formed by God on this Earth. I’ve seen mountaintops that could have been carved by His fingers, vast oceans formed by Him, and air so fresh it could have come directly from His mouth. That alone reminded me that I have so little knowledge and control compared to God and His grand designs.

Eleanor replied, almost breathless, “No wonder Jesus went to the mountain to pray.” It makes complete sense. Standing on a mountain overlooking the vastness of nature, realizing how small you are compared to everything that is before you, not only isolates you and focuses your thoughts, it reminds you that there is a bigger picture. Life is not just about you and what you think you can control or comprehend. Life is much bigger than what our eyes can see from the ground.

We rode up the mountain a bit further then started our descent back to camp. I was a passenger for this portion of the trip and could get a better look at the large trees and perfectly manicured snow than when I was driving (because let’s be real – I’m a thrill seeker and wasn’t driving slow enough to enjoy scenery). We ate lunch back in the village then began our two-hour train ride back to downtown Denver. The snow began to fall just as we were pulling out and I dozed off to sleep thanking God for the humbling reality check I received standing on the edge of a mountain.

Do you enjoy being in nature? If so, what do you love about it? Are you a thrill seeker like me or do you prefer to take nature in small doses? Let me know in the comment section below!