God’s Highlighter (a thought for the new year)

J said something to me once that I still think about occasionally.  During a camping trip in October of 2005 we had climbed up a ridge (near Priest lake, not far from Sandpoint) and we were looking across the hills toward Washington, Canada, and Montana – all while standing in Idaho.  A Four-Corners of the Pacific Northwest.  It was a pretty concept, looking out at the horizon and thinking about all those borders being so nearby – as if in seeing them we could somehow see the whole of those regions that lay beyond our vision.

The sun was sinking lower in the west and I suddenly noticed the shadow of our ridge stretching out to touch a slope to the east.  The rim of the shadow was highlighted by a warm evening-glow, and because the sky was mostly overcast there was one segment of land stood apart from and above all the rest.  It was a small, shining piece of sunset in the autumnal gloom.

“Check that out,” I called to J.

He looked.  “God’s highlighter,” he said.  “It tells us what we need to be looking at.”

I’m not religious, but truth speaks with many different vocabularies.  J had a point.  “Like studying for a test,” I said.  “Maybe on our deathbeds we’ll be asked, ‘So, what did you pay attention to during your life?’”  I paused.   “ . . . That’s actually a really good question.”

It’s the question, really.  What do you pay attention to?

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