Tag Archives: high places

Spiritual Hypoxia

High Spiritual Places


As we approached La Cumbre Pass in the Bolivian Andes, the driver said, “We’ll stop for a few minutes to take photos, but we can’t linger. At 5000 meters (16,000 feet) we will soon suffer hypoxia or oxygen deprivation.”


I stand here at the cumbre ‑ a high pass of my journey. The thin air intoxicates.  I feel that I could step into the heavenlies from here.  The world below seems unreal, irrelevant, insignificant. There is danger here, I’m told, danger of thinking foolish thoughts. Am I suffering from spiritual hypoxia? Will I stray and stumble from some cliff of reality?

I find assurance in seeing signposts left by others in these high passes.

Calvin Miller wrote, “There is a substance to rapture – to find it is wonder – to dwell in
the near light of God is joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Hannah Hurnard in Hind’s Feet on High Places posted the Shepherds words to Much-Afraid, “Perhaps it may even seem as though everything you have seen here on the high places was just a dream, or the work of your own imagination … But you have seen reality, and the mist which seems to swallow it up is the illusion. Believe steadfastly in what you have seen.”

I want to stay here, where your presence exhilarates and lifts my spirit. But… there are dangers here. When the soul breathes only air of the high trails, euphoria garbles our message and we speak of matters that make no sense to the masses who breathe the heavy air.

I treasure these brief times in the high passes, but that is not where the people dwell. I must go down and try to lead others to the high passes where they can experience the heavenly places for themselves.

Martha Hawn VanCise©2016 www.signpostsonhightrails.comPhoto: http://www.bolivianbeauty.com/ChoquetangaCotapataChuspipata/LaCumbre.htm