Have you ever noticed that sometimes life seems too hard? Even though you know God is in charge and things are okay, your mind feels like a snarled knot. You feel overwhelmed and incapable of handling a hangnail—much less the day.
My mother is a very wise woman, and as I was growing up, she’d allow me to have an occasional day off from school when things seemed too rough. She told me that sometimes a person needed to take a quiet day and recharge. She called those special days “mental-health snow days.” There was only one rule associated with them: during the day, I couldn’t think about any problems—I HAD to rest and recharge.
Recently, I found myself in need of an old-fashioned, mental-health snow day. My mother felt like getting away too, so we packed a cooler and went to the mountains. Colorado is breathtaking in the autumn, and I couldn’t wait to see the seasonal color. Before we left, we had prayer and figuratively put all of my worries into a basket and lifted them up to God, asking Him to take care of them. Then we got in the car and took off. It was a beautiful day! The sky was bright blue, and the aspens were every shade of gold imaginable.
After going through Estes Park, we entered Rocky Mountain National Park and drove to Bear Lake. I can’t begin to express how lovely it was! Some of the mountainsides were an explosion of color! When we arrived at the lake, we took our time and strolled the trail. The path completely circles Bear Lake, and as we walked, we were able to view the water from every angle. The delicious scent of pine was heavy in the air. Ducks were swimming in the lake, leaving streaming, silver trails in their wake. Aspen leaves—painted gold—sparkled around every twist of the trail. And above us, the wind whispered like music in the trees.
As we walked, my mother pointed out the beauty around us. Several times, she stopped and verbally thanked the Lord for our lovely world. She didn’t realize it, but her expression of praise was making an incredible impression on me. As I studied the huge, solid mountains that had stood firm for so many years, my problems shrank back to their normal, manageable size. After all, everything I was facing seemed extremely small in the big scheme of things. As I looked up at the aspen-fringed blue sky, I began feeling the presence of the Lord. Deep peace surrounded me.
God’s power is so IMMENSE! He formed the mountains and hollowed out Bear Lake with His hands. He’s an incredible Lord who’s capable of solving ALL problems and calming ALL fears. Walking beside the water that day, Psalm 23:1-3a kept coming to mind: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.”
My recent mental-health snow day served its purpose. As I put my problems aside and focused on the beauty around me, my soul was restored. I thank God that He leads us beside still waters! And I also thank Him for a wonderful mother who told me at an early age that’s okay to take a break and look for them.