On vacation last week I wandered through antique stores looking for old postcards most of which are enclosed in clear plastic envelopes with a price label pasted on them. One, however contained what appeared to be pieces of a card cut precisely in four pieces. . It was only one dollar so I thought I’d take a chance on it and purchased it for this article.

On vacation last week I wandered through antique stores looking for old postcards most of which are enclosed in clear plastic envelopes with a price label pasted on them. One, however contained what appeared to be pieces of a card cut precisely in four pieces. . It was only one dollar so I thought I’d take a chance on it and purchased it for this article.

Researching and composing an article takes me all week and is work which I have done for over a decade and more than 400 articles with few breaks between articles. I had earned a vacation from writing my usual type article and writing one interpreting this vacation article.

In juxtaposition, my perspective in trying to make sense of the scenes, three of the four pieces shown here made no sense to me. From the back [#7], they made perfect sense and were a beautiful rural scene on the other side when in that order. [#8]

Spiritually

Throughout history most religions associated heights with God. Moses was given the Ten Commandments on top of a mountain. After Jesus revealed to his disciples his coming death they were discouraged so Jesus took three of them with him [Peter, James, and John] up Mount Tabor where they were joined by Elijah and Moses. After God spoke to them from a cloud their clothes and countenances were dazzling white as though bleached. This effect has been named ‘transfiguration’ and had the effect of strengthening their spirits for the events ahead.

Ubiquitous steeples on even modest-sized Christian churches are symbolic of reaching to heaven where God abides. The tallest steeple in the world, 490 feet, is atop Lutheran Ulm Minster [Lutheran] in Germany. John Denver sang often about the spiritual life the Rocky Mountains of his adopted State of Colorado. In general the sheer size and magnificence of mountains the world over provide silent witness to their Creator.

Jerusalem

In David’s time religious Jews traveled to Jerusalem several times a year to attend ceremonies observing high holy days. It is the highest mount in the region at more than 2400 ft. above the Mediterranean—most likely the reason it was chosen as the capital city and easiest to defend because of its height and several other features such as water supply. Hence, getting to the temple area required a long, arduous walk for pilgrims. The roads to it were havens of robbers so pilgrims traveled in groups for safety. As they ascended, these religious travelers sang ‘songs of ascent.’ Moving upward for hours on end viewing the beauty of the city and the mountain led David to write [or claim] Psalms 121, a song of ascents inspired by this pilgrimage.

Psalms 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let our foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

The Lord is our shade at your right hand;

The sun will not harm you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

He will watch over your life;

The Lord will watch over your coming and going

Both now and forevermore.

Perspective

The pieces of our picture from our perspective make no sense, but from the other side we see the order in it all i.e., a 1900 postcard. When we arrange matters from God’s perspective, however, it all makes sense—a beautiful picture with steeples stretching to the mountains. Those who ascend spiritually in search of God and learning his will for their lives pause, turn, stumble, and fall along the way while not realizing the beautiful picture they are creating if they are doing so within His will.

Bob Allison is a Shawnee resident who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he taught and was Associate to the Director of University Hospitals. He and wife Elaine and he have three children, 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He can be contacted at rfallison100@gmail.com.