I love the outdoors.
And my favorite place to be is in the mountains.
Several years ago, “The Hub” and I went on vacation to Colorado. We love staying in a place called Ouray. It’s an old mining town from the 1800’s. It has survived through the years. It’s got some tourist shops and restaurants, and yet, it still keeps a quaint image of its beginnings.
One of our favorite things to do is rent a jeep and travel into the high, high mountains above Ouray – exploring all the old mining sites that lie as silent monuments to a bygone day of golden dreams.
I am fascinated by it all. The history – my mind soars with imagination.
And if that wasn’t enough, the scenery is breath-taking…literally.
On portions of the bumpy, hard-scrabble trail, we are over 13,000 feet. We are in the heights – where snow is everywhere, even in the middle of July.
Oxygen is sparse, and it’s difficult to walk around. Huffing and puffing has nothing to do with blowing any piggy houses down – just sayin’… And it’s easy to get tired, quickly.
On this one particular trip, everything was swell – until we started coming back down.
That’s when I got sick – really sick.
I had the most awful headache – I can’t even describe it. I’ve had headaches all my life. And this was by far the worst. At first, the pain was more than enough. But then the nausea set in. Oh boy…
By the time we reached our campsite again, I was almost speechless – it hurt to talk, and my stomach started flipping – literally.
“The Hub” was quite worried.
We waited it out. And by mid-morning of the next day, I was feeling slightly better. I gingerly ate a few pretzels, and tentatively sipped on water.
A few days later, we talked to a couple of people and told them what had happened. One of them had had the same thing happen. It was definitely altitude sickness.
But here’s the weird thing –
The cure for altitude sickness is to get to a lower altitude quick. The odd thing about what happened to me is that I didn’t get sick UNTIL I hit the lower altitudes.
I got thinking about that fact last week when I was in the mountains with my sons. I felt fine up there. But when we returned home, I started to get a headache. And a little queasy. Not at all like my Colorado experience, but the same phenomenon. Going to lower altitudes…
I’ve determined that I suffer from low-altitude sickness.
I seem to thrive in thin air, far above the murky haze of sea level realms.
I think it’s like my soul.
I wasn’t made for the murky haze of earthly realms.
Caught up in the concerns of daily living. Mired down in the troubles and worries that surround me. All stuffed up in my heart with sin. Getting a headache trying to figure out my life. Feeling queasy about the future…
No, I wasn’t made for low altitude.
I was made for the heights. I was made in the image of the Almighty God. I was made to soar.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Are you suffering from low-altitude sickness?
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