Earlier this month, I attended a minister's retreat in Modderpoort near Ladybrand. We stayed at a beautiful old Anglican Monastery.
Most of the days were filled with meetings, but one afternoon we were given a few hours of free time to do as we pleased. I decided to go and explore the surrounding mountains after receiving a tip from another minister about some ancient cave paintings that could apparently be found nearby.
Unfortunately, after the recent rains that the area had been experiencing, the path up the mountain was overgrown and not easy to navigate. I spent way longer than necessary traversing up the side of the mountain, often veering off the path and needing to track back to a previous point.
I walked for close to an hour with no sign of getting closer to my desired destination. I was about to turn around and make the treacherous trek back down the mountain when I walked through a clearing and was faced with intriguing caves and the most stunning rock paintings that I had ever seen. They looked as though they were painted earlier that week, not thousands of years before.
I turned around and the views of the Eastern Free State from the mountain were majestic! I sat down on a rock and spent some time marvelling at the wonder of God's creation around me.
I had never been to this specific place before, but there was instantly something sacred about it. Standing on that mountain, I was instantly aware of God's presence and grace in my life.
There certainly seems to be places where God’s presence is more tangible to us. Both the Biblical narrative and Church history point to certain “special places” which God frequents to meet with people.
One of my close friends refers to these places as sacred spaces. (He has a blog by the same name that you should definitely check out: Sacred Spaces)
A Sacred Space is a place where heaven meets earth and humans encounter the divine. Are there any sacred spaces that you like to frequent where you immediately become aware of God’s presence?
"After he had dismissed them, Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray."
- Matthew 14:23 (NIV)