How flat the sea is today! Waves wash ashore with barely a ripple, the distant water only a slightly wrinkled surface. Even the dunes seem flattened by the humidity, as if the world existed without the dimension of height. I miss the sense of high waves, the feel of tall clouds, the looming dunes against the shore. Sometimes my own life seems eerily flat, as if I am oppressed by something—guilt perhaps, or laziness or depression. I feel weighted down my helplessness and sadness for reasons I can’t even name. In this flatness of my soul and spirit, I turn to you God. In your presence I am forced to look up. I think of the hilly places like that on which the shepherds camped that first Christmas Eve, the hill where Christ was transfigured, the hill of Golgotha where He was crucified, and the hill from which He ascended. I thank you, Lord, for these hills that mark the terrain of my spiritual life. When I am flattened by daily events, help me fix my eyes on the high places of your earthly life and keep me aware of the Heavenly home you have prepared for me. Amen.