A few miles south of campus stands Spencer Butte. Visible from practically any building on campus, Spencer Butte looms 2055 feet high and is a distinctive part of the Eugene landscape, yet most students go to and fro everyday minding their own business without ever noticing the large precipice that dominates the city skyline. It is amazing how the day to day activities can distract us from the big things in life. We can go from one thing to another all day long and never stop to look up and see the beauty that surrounds us.
A few weeks ago during student leader training, I took my Resident Assistants up Spencer Butte. I wanted them not to forget the big things. So on the first day of training, we met on a cool August morning with our hiking boots on our feet and water bottles in our grips. I figured if we spent the time hiking the mountain, feeling the sweat on our brow, and the aches in our muscles we would have a personal connection to the beautiful mount we see daily.
As a team, we made the steep climb up. The butte is covered in majestic trees, amazing shrubbery, and various other wildlife, but nothing compares to the magnificence you experience once you reach the top. From the peak you can see for miles and miles. You can city the entire city of Eugene and the outlying communities. You can spot the river cutting through the land and the mountains surrounding the valley.
And suddenly, your perspective changes. Once on the top, you realize what you have been really missing: the bigger picture.
We get so busy and distracted and absent-minded that we forget the big picture. We become so self-involved that we forget about the community that surrounds us. Many times we have to remove ourselves from the situation to see things clearly. As one of my Resident Assistants said as she scanned the landscape below her, “Things look so different from up here.”
As we start a new school year, things will be different. High school seniors turn into college freshmen. Seasoned professionals become students again. Underclassmen turn into upperclassmen. And before we know it, undergraduates will turn into alumni. My hope is that the Lord opens our eyes now and helps us see the wonderful things of the Lord.
Reid McCormick-Area Residence Coordinator