Beside a long, winding two-lane road that climbs up Mt. Humphries almost to its peak is a popular hiking trail called Aspen Loop. At first glance, the trail has no eye-catching features. Its head, in fact, is littered with potholes and mud piles, byproducts of the high-altitude showers that come during fall and spring afternoons. Nevertheless, if you can endure the muck and have the patience to hike down one sloping ravine, through a dense patch of ponderosa pines, and up another, you’ll find something extraordinary—a vast breathtaking clearing with the most panoramic awe-inspiring views.

From one direction, you’ll see the mountain’s peak, covered in snow, ominously sharp in its steep ascent. From the other direction, you’ll see a deep valley that extends all the way down to the outskirts of the town of Flagstaff below. Standing there will make you grateful. Standing there will make you want to worship. It will also remind you of Psalm 95:2-4—

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving…For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also” (ESV).

You see, we don’t need to manufacture or force gratitude and worship. We don’t need to be overwhelmed by “shoulds” and “oughts.” Instead, we simply need to put ourselves in a position to see God’s greatness up against our smallness, to see His vastness next to our feebleness and limits. We need to stare up at a glowing night sky to set aside our troubles. We need to listen to the quietness of a slow rain or breathe in the energy of a strong north wind to remember God moves and nourishes.

In what ways is God calling you to see His greatness today?

Perhaps it’s time to pause and wonder again, to worship and give genuine thanks.

*Originally published by The Joyful Life Magazine.