We decided to take a different Saturday morning walk this week, and it was literally a mountaintop experience. It’s become a weekly ritual for Lyndon and I— snow shoeing in winter and power walking/ hiking in fairer weather. He doesn’t Zumba (although that would be entertaining…) or interval run with me, and I don’t do Tae Kwondo (an equally amusing notion) or cycle with him, so this is our “meeting in the middle” thing. It’s our time to talk and exercise together, and simply enjoy creation a wee bit in the beautiful city of Kelowna, quite often offering a fresh perspective of the place we call home.

This week we hiked up Knox Mountain. We’ve only ever driven up it before, usually to show our visitors the fantastic view up and down Lake Okanagan. It’s our little show off point! But to our surprise, there was a whole Saturday morning community of hikers who apparently do this regularly. Some walked incredibly energetic dogs (I honestly couldn’t imagine our English bulldog lasting more than 5 minutes on that incline), and others chatted in pairs or ran in “serious mode”. It was awesome.

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SIDE NOTE: can I say how incredibly polite and friendly Canadians are? I realize we are sort of are Canadians (nearly), but it STILL blows us away after nearly 20 years in the country. Red-faced running dude? Not a problem, he’ll still puff out a “Good morning!” A pair of girls engrossed in conversation, they’ll stop and smile with a “How are you?” Man, I love living here.

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And up on top of Knox Mountain, overlooking the lake, mountains, and the whole city, I was struck afresh… with gratitude and heartbreak, joy and sadness, longing and fear. You see, from up on my perch I saw the tiny little specks scurrying around, the people living in the city, just like me. Successful businessmen, homeless girls, families, widowers, shoppers, beggars, churchgoers, partiers— a smorgasbord of life.

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And I wondered if they were happy.

I wondered if they had hope.

I was reminded, with it being Palm Sunday weekend, of the time Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem, right after the whole “Hosanna!” palm  branches experience. He cried perfect tears for the people. For the successful businessmen, homeless girls, families, widowers, shoppers, beggars, churchgoers and partiers of the day. For those who had not recognized the Saviour, and were lost and hopeless without Him.

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This Good Friday, our church is holding its service at 11am at the Community Theatre downtown. I gazed at it from my mountaintop. Right there in the middle of the city we will gather and remember and worship. It’ll be all about Jesus. The Jesus who died for the successful businessmen, the homeless girls, families, widowers, shoppers, beggars, churchgoers, and partiers. The One who died and rose again, who is alive and offers HOPE to all.

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A deep breath of mountain air, a swig of water, and we began our descent. It was a lot quicker than the uphill jaunt. My heart felt a little lighter after remembering the hope offered to our city. I know I should pray for my city more, and get out of my comfort zone, roll up my sleeves, and serve in my community. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like, but it certainly helped coming out of the everyday grind, taking a hefty climb, and seeing my beloved city from a fresh perspective.

Feeling motivated to climb a little mountain? 🙂

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