Saturday, November 18, 2017

A "Very Good" World-by Heidi McLaughlin

 “OK my darlings – what’s it going to be,” I challenged, “shall we take the cable car or lace up our hiking boots?” Eyebrows went up and down as we stood in a circle staring at each other.  My husband Jack, my daughter Michelle, my son-in-law Tim, and my son Donovan were standing at the base of Mount Wengen, one of the most picturesque mountains in Switzerland. While this adventure had been researched for over a year, we didn’t expect this commanding, green giant to be so intimidating. Finally Michelle broke the silence, “You know what, I don’t think I feel up to the hike. Tim and I will take the cable car and meet you at the top.”  A decision was made. Tim and Michelle off to the train station while Jack, Donovan and I (Heidi) bent down to lace up their hiking boots.

The first half hour of our excursion revealed a backdrop of lush alpine meadows awash with a carpet of flowers that turned into beautiful panorama of rugged, majestic mountains.  Our conversation consisted of superlatives trying to fathom and express the vastness and magnificence of God’s creation.  Every hundred feet or so, we stopped to wipe the sweat from our faces and share another rich discovery.

Over there-see Staubach Falls cascading down the side of the mountain like a twirling corkscrew.”

It was magical! As we climbed higher and higher up the mountainside trail we saw the world from a different perspective. It all seemed clearer, slower, and calmer. 

Worries, deadlines and expectations evaporated.

By the time we saw the sign WENGEN VILLAGE our clothes were soaked with a salty, grimy perspiration. But we were elated, and deliciously exhausted.  Trying to squeeze one last drop out of our water bottles, we high fived and headed into the village, back to reality.

 We found Tim and Michelle in a colourful friendly café leisurely sipping away on a rich, Swiss coffee. “Hey, how was your cogwheel railway climb?” We asked. “Fine”, they both echoed.”  Now they wanted to know, “How was your trek up the mountain?” “It was very good,” was all I could muster up, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” 

How do you explain a glimpse of heaven-a visit into an idyllic time warp that would lose its magic if we tried to put it into human words?

In the book of Genesis when God finished creating our magnificent world He said. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NIV).

“Very Good?”

 My hike up Mount Wengen allowed me to capture a tiny, fleeting glimpse behind God’s words of “very good.” If God says that our creation is only very good, I can’t begin to comprehend what heaven will be like.

I’m glad I chose the long, hard hiking trail. How many times have I missed God best for my life simply because I was not willing to bend over and lace up my hiking boots?  God’s wants us to experience all of His “very good” in our lives. Why not stop today and take a moment to thank Him for creating something that is so very good. 

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. Heidi has been widowed twice. She is a mom and step mom of a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 12 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her family and special friends.
Her latest book RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places (Including a FREE downloadable Study Guide) is now available at;, or her website:


Peter Black said...

Thank you for sharing this delightful memory and experience, Heidi . . . gorgeous snapshots, too! Precious memories for you. Your climb and Swiss alpine pics remind me of "Climb Every Mountain" - my favourite song from The Sound of Music. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Ha! I liked Peter's comment to 'Climb Every Mountain!' One of my favourite all-time movies and that song holds such deeper meaning.
Heidi, what a joy it was to journey with you up the mountain and hear you proclaim how 'very good' it was.
What splendid photos, too. Sweet memories nestled nicely amid the sweat and the effort. Good for you for 'climbing every mountain' in your life. Even the ones that seem unsurmountable at times! Great post.

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