2001 A Space Odyssey, Psalm 121, and Home

Denver skyline

I grew up in southwest Denver with the Rocky Mountains beginning their ascent just fifteen miles west of my house. During the day, they towered over us. In the evening the sun set red behind them.

At night, from anywhere in my little world, I could look west and see a huge cross hanging on Mount Lindo. Just one sweep with my eyes told me where I was (the city was simpler then) and centered me, though I would not have called it that then.

One night as a middle schooler, I came out of a local theater after watching the confusing, frightening film “2001 A Space Odyssey.” The movie disturbed me. I didn’t know what on earth to make of it. I felt lost, disconnected from reality, as if my space tether had been cut. Then, standing in the parking lot waiting for my mom I looked west, and found the cross hanging there in the night sky. Suddenly I knew where I was. My feet touched down on my soil again. My soul settled.

Those mountains became more than landmarks for me. They are my roots, my anchor. My father loved fishing and hunting and camping. He took us up into the mountains every chance he got. After he died of a heart attack, climbing back up into the mountains was how I kept in touch with him.

After we moved out of Colorado in 1990, I felt lost again, like on that night way back in middle school. I would stand on the great flat plains of Illinois surrounded by corn and look west searching, yearning. No mountains, no cross, no memories. I felt who I was began slipping from my fingers.

Then while we lived in Tulsa, still 790 miles from my mountains, I read, as if for the first time, Psalm 121.

I look up to the mountains;

does my strength come from mountains?

No, my strength comes from God,

who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let you stumble,

your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.

Not on your life! Israel’s

Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s your Guardian,

right at your side to protect you—

Shielding you from sunstroke,

sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil,

he guards your very life.

He guards you when you leave and when you return,

he guards you now, he guards you always.

Slowly I realized as much as the Rockies mean to me, they are only symbols of the true source of my identity and strength. As a twelve-year old boy, I knew nothing about God and so looking up and seeing that cross hanging in the night sky only grounded me physically. But it was a prophetic event.

Now those mountains and that cross on Mount Lindo (we moved back to Colorado in 2001) point me to something bigger than myself. To the Creator. To a God of power and love.

What is your anchor? Is it something that God is using to point you to Someone even stronger yet?

Eugene C. Scott finds it ironic that he moved back to Colorado in 2001, the same year as the “Space Odyssey” that discombobulated him so. Join him in the year The Year of Living Spiritually. You can join the Living Spiritually community by following that blog and clicking here and liking the page. He is also co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “2001 A Space Odyssey, Psalm 121, and Home

  1. Georgie-ann

    All I KNOW is that “the Truth is stronger than a lie”,… “the Truth is stronger than any lie, or even a whole bunch of them”,… no matter how many lies pile up against us, the Truth is able to break through ALL of them,… when we turn to it,… when we rely completely upon it,…

    Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    The Word of God will anchor us, AND teach us and show us the Way,… It is invaluable as verification for truth vs false claims,…

    The Holy Spirit is also our teacher, but it is very wise to confirm the leadings that we believe to be of the Holy Spirit with the written Truth of the Word of God regularly,…

    John 14:26 “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will TEACH you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

    1 Corinthians 14:37,38
    37 “If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit of God and inspired to interpret the divine will and purpose in preaching or teaching] or has any other spiritual endowment, let him understand (RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE) that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.

    38 “But if anyone disregards or does not recognize [that it is a command of the Lord], he is disregarded and not recognized [he is one whom God knows not].”

    1 Timothy 4:1-3
    1 “But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly DECLARES that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,

    2 “Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized),

    3 “Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.”

    Luke 12:12 “For the Holy Spirit will TEACH you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.”

    The Scriptures (the Word of God) also tell us that Christ is the anchor of our soul:

    Hebrews 6:18-20

    18 “This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is IMPOSSIBLE for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].

    19 “[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast ANCHOR of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,

    20 “Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.”

    The TRUTH is always STRONGER than any lie!

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