When I moved from the mountains of North Carolina to the plains of Illinois, I was astonished at the expanse of sky. I craned my head in all directions, awed at the inverted blue bowl in which I’d be living for the next four years.
I was also a bit uneasy about it. I felt exposed, vulnerable. I was without familiar landmarks and the coziness of the mountain hollows—or hollers, as we called them. Even though I enjoyed Illinois, I was glad to get back to hills and valleys when we moved to Kentucky. Home.
To my surprise, I discovered that everyone doesn’t share my love of the mountains. In fact, those raised on the “fruited plain” often feel smothered by the closeness of the mountain spaces. They are eager to return to the openness and blue-bowl skies of the plains. They love the feeling of freedom that comes from no confinement in any direction.
These attitudes reflect, for the most part, where we were raised. I grew up on the Highland Rim of Middle Tennessee, accustomed to driving from the Nashville basin up the ridge to get home. We love the Great Smoky Mountains and still visit there every year. But some people love a place completely different from where they were raised. They see advantages in the differences.
I think the same is true of our spiritual beliefs. Most of us stay in the same faith tradition in which we were raised. We choose what is most comfortable religiously.
But physical location is not at the same level of importance as our spiritual locations. All of us should question our beliefs to see if they are valid. We must always seek the truth through Bible study and prayer. Both locations and beliefs can change, but always with good reasons.
Do you prefer mountains or plains? How have your spiritual beliefs changed over the ye