Fifty years ago in the month of June my wife and I went on our honey moon to Colorado. We spent a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park and I remember doing some hiking and thinking how crazy it was to be standing in a snow bank on the top of Trail Ridge Road in the month of June. I also remember how we hiked up Shadow Mountain near Grand Lake in the middle of the afternoon. As we stood at the top and I watched the sun beginning to go down I realized we would have to go fast to get to the bottom before dark. I suggested to my new bride that if we followed the power lines down it would go faster and we wouldn’t be caught in the dark. I was right about the short cut but the terrain was pretty rough and Jean began to realize maybe she hadn’t made the best choice in husbands when she said yes to me. So began a series of adventures that by the grace of God has brought us to this present moment.
Last Christmas our granddaughter played a video for us that had scenes of Elk grazing and marmots chewing on grass as John Denver sang “Rocky Mountain High”. This was followed by the words,”It is time to saddle up and return to the Rockies”. It was then that we realized that our children had rented a home near Grand Lake and wanted us to return to Colorado with them. This time they were going to watch us so we wouldn’t hike up Shadow Mountain in the middle of the afternoon.
As we drove out to Colorado in two mini vans there was lots of time to talk and play games. As we hiked and ate together at the end of the day there was more talk and more games.
As I looked at the mountains and I looked at my family I saw some similarities between them. The mountains I was looking at seemed to be the same as they were when I saw them fifty years ago. They were still solid. They were still something that drew my gaze upward and gave me a higher and broader perspective. And yet they were not the same and I was not the same but we were still bound to each other.
So it has been with my family. Fifty years ago it was just Jean and I. Today there are two girls and two boys, two sons-in-law and one daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. There have been many changes over the years and there are more changes to come. As I sat and looked at my family I marveled at what my children have become and at what they might yet be. I took delight in my grandchildren as they also begin to bloom and grow and become all they might be. And I know that like the mountains my family will always be as solid as the mountains we saw out the kitchen window. Family is where it all begins. Family is there in the end. I’m so thankful Jean and I made it down Shadow Mountain before it got dark that day fifty years ago. Our hearts are still overflowing with thankfulness that we had these golden moments with our family in Colorado.
May all of you also take the time to gaze at your families and give thanks for all the blessings you have been given by your children and grandchildren. Whether you are standing on the top of Trail Ridge Road or sitting in your living room we can all have our golden moments can’t we?