The Great Divide

Between Denver and our home on Colorado’s western slope lies the Continental Divide. Since western states are fairly enormous, a distance of 175 miles is an easy morning drive, with views that define the word ‘scenic.’ We soar with eagles over two mountain passes and plunge alongside the rapids through rocky, rugged canyons. In three summer hours we fly along the Interstate, crossing the wild watershed and dropping down into the civilization of Denver. The vast divide is easily conquered.

Winter is another story. When blizzards blow in from the west, the freewheeling road trip of summer becomes a white-knuckle, fasten-your-seatbelt odyssey. The Eisenhower Tunnel, straddling the continental watershed, stands as a blizzard-shrouded sentinel that disappears upward into the clouds. On nail-studded tires we ascend the mountain on solid ice, hoping the driver next to us knows what to do if he goes into a skid. Crossing the Divide in winter takes courage, patience, and God’s grace. We are never quite certain whether or not we will make it. We literally thank God when we do.

When we absolutely must travel to Denver in the snow, we do everything in our power to journey safely. We equip the car with rugged snow tires, ice scraper, washer fluid, food, blankets, flashlight, and water. We pray and head out in the daylight. Then we surrender and trust God with every detail beyond our control: to guide our fellow travelers, for angels to protect us. We do what we can and leave the rest to Him. Sometimes in winter, only God can conquer the Divide.

As I write this, summer is rolling into town. We’ve opened the windows and inhaled the scent of lilacs and freshly-mown grass. We breathe a little easier and even consider driving to Denver for fun! Our summer is short, sweet, but notoriously fickle. Sometimes the calendar says June but the sky threatens snow. Still, we treasure our few shorts weeks of traveling freedom. The geographical gap is easily bridged.

This morning I surveyed the monetary gap that divides the towering stack of bills on my desk from my pitiful, flattened checkbook. Were this a summer of abundance, I’d fly over the Internet Interstate and transfer money from savings to bridge the Great Divide. Problem solved, no need to worry God, let’s go revel in the joys of June! But for us, as for so many others, the recession looms like a late-winter storm over the Colorado high country. Just when you think it’s safe to stick your coat in the closet, the clouds roll in and the snow starts to fly. Better leave the lug nuts fastened and the snow tires mounted. It seems we still can’t get there from here.

I never forget that God created the Continental Divide. It’s just that, sometimes in summer, I forget He’s listening as I head up the hill. Summer or winter, my job is the same- to prepare as best I can, to pray, and to head out in the daylight. Then I am to trust God with every detail beyond my control: to guide my fellow travelers; for angels to protect me. I do what I can and leave the rest to Him. Looking to cross the divides of our lives, whether they be financial, physical, mental, or spiritual, takes patience, courage, and God’s grace. We are never quite certain whether or not we will make it. We literally thank God when we do.

God’s grace, mercy, and power can bridge every gap and conquer every divide.

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