High in the Austrian Alps, overlooked by the looming crags of the Gratlspitz, is this tiny chapel.
Only six people can squeeze inside. It stands, lonely and often empty; apart from ramblers like us, some farm workers, and people seeking peace and quiet to search for God.
Someone cares enough to keep it in good order. It faces high winds, baking sun in summer, and heavy snow falls as the seasons pass. It stands, a silent witness, its very existing stating that there is a Living God who cares for the farmers, the holidaymakers, and the seekers. There is no through road in this valley: tracks and paths link farms and villages. People must walk here.
It would be a wonderful place to sit and pray, to listen to the sounds of the high pastures. Or to sit and gaze on mountain grandeur. Shelter for the pilgrim, perhaps.
To feel small in the great scheme of life- yet to feel loved and welcome. Years of prayers and worship have hallowed this tiny chapel, and the sense of Holy Presence is within its walls.
I remember this tiny chapel from time to time: often when life is busy or full of hassle. Stepping outside my mental cage, I let my soul soar, and those small wooden benches seem to welcome my weary frame once more. Quiet rhythms of wind, grasses, Alpine cowbells in the distance, summoning my heart to worship. No cathedral has a finer peal of bells!
Life for many of us is difficult- circumstances have overtaken us. Fear and uncertainty afflict even the most placid of souls. A helpful discipline is that of “memory plus imagination” – a special place, a holy and wholesome experience can form the framework of an inner pilgrimage: moving toward Jesus Christ restores our priorities and purpose. It may be a grand place, some church or cathedral; it might be a profound encounter that changed us and moved us onwards. It might be as simple as a baby holding your finger, or another moment of deep joy.
Meet with God again, right there, right here. Find your “tiny chapel” and you will find He is within. Go into the chapel in peace, come out refreshed, serve the Lord with heart and mind and soul.
As you pray, these words may provide a focus: Psalm 121:1-2 (NLT)
I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!