Yesterday morning I had the privilege of watching the sunrise over Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Glacier Point gives a wonderful panoramic view of the entire western Sierras from its 7200-foot elevation. The unobstructed view of several hundred miles of virgin wilderness, granite buttresses and distant mountains was absolutely breathtaking. From that dizzying height you could peer over the sheer rock wall and see Yosemite Valley, a strip of green verdure squeezed into the mountains nearly 4000 feet below.
Dominating the view to the east was the most photographed rock in the world . . . Half Dome. It loomed up into the sky and formed a dark relief for the rising sun. Its unique shape can never be forgotten and is one of the focal points on any trip to Yosemite.
There were just a few people up there that early in the morning. A team of astronomers had spent the night taking pictures of a meteor shower. Naturalists were there along with tourists and some teenagers who had slept over night in the cool mountain air. What impressed me about every person who had gathered for the early sunrise “service” was how quiet they all were. Although there were no signs to be reverent, everyone was hushed and talked in whispers. It was really remarkable.
I was then struck with the thought that we were in God’s sanctuary, and what a sanctuary it was! The roof was the heavens and it was lit by the sun. Its floor was vast expanses of solid granite, a fitting foundation for the everlasting Lord. And every vista filled the soul with a quiet and reverent awe.
Psalms 65:8 says: “They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.” In this day of cities filled with man-made idols, where the common is considered sacred and the sacred common, it is indeed a blessing to retreat to a place which rightly assigns what we have made to the dust and exalts the Creator of the Universe as the only Person worth exalting.
When we enter the throne room of eternity the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. May we all find a quiet place of awe today, our very own mountain top experience, to worship our God and be silent before His wonderful power, wisdom and majesty.