Meet me on the mountain

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Almost 100 years ago, Mary Ella’s grandfather built a small cabin in the North Georgia mountains, and I do mean mountains.

The Appalachian Range dips into North Georgia where there are twenty mountains over 4000 feet high! The highest mountain in North Georgia is Brasstown Bald at 4,783 feet; not far behind are Rabun Bald (our little cabin is in Rabun County) at 4,695 feet, Dick’s Knob (also in Rabun County) at 4,619 feet, Hightower Bald at 4,567 feet, and Wolfpen Ridge at 4,560 feet.

Twenty-five volunteers on the Rabun County Search and Rescue Team could also tell you how dangerous these mountains can be if you don’t treat them with great respect.

They respond to over 200 calls per year, rescuing people who get lost in the mountains or swept away by the rapid waters of a mountain stream or fall down a waterfall.

Years ago, I walked up the mountain behind our cabin and got lost. It scared me at first, but I finally remembered to calm down and think.

I found a stream and followed it down the mountain, coming out about a mile down the road from our cabin, delighted that I didn’t get to meet the Rescue Team!

“Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

These are Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples, and it’s an interesting lesson.

He tells them to meet him on the mountain and they’ll talk about worship.

Some of them were less than excited about the risks. Maybe the mountain and/or the worship?

I’d always thought the mountains in Palestine were actually hills, but Mt. Hermon is 7,336 feet high and the Mt. of Olives is 2,684 feet high.

And there are places where worship is very dangerous; so I asked myself, would I attend worship if it put my life and my family in danger?

Pastor’s viewpoint is written by Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley, a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland & Bold Springs UMC and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.