By: Jon Christensen

Do you ever disconnect? I mean fully disconnect... no phone, no computer, no TV. I have to start with a confession, disconnecting is hard for me. I always have my phone on me, iPad close, and music in the background. Even when I am on vacation, it is challenging to totally disengage from work and technology.

Luke 6:12 says,  “It was at this time that He (Jesus) went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

I think there was a reason that Jesus had to go off to the mountains to disconnect from things in order to connect with the Father. It probably wasn’t the iPhone that was competing for Jesus’ time, but there were many other things. Jesus knew he had to do something different from his day to day activities to really disconnect. So he would Head to the Mountains.

We are supposed to be like Jesus right? So I try to make it a priority, at least once a year, to Head to the Mountains. I grew up in a family that camped often which led to my obsession with backpacking.  Like no other place for me, while I am on the trail I am totally disconnected. I see things I would normally glance right over, I hear the voice of God that otherwise might be drowned out. I am ready to pass out while hiking uphill, however, I can pray and listen to the Father, uninterrupted. I have heard God’s voice more clearly and powerfully on the trail then any other place.

We also see in Scripture that Jesus and the disciples journeyed many miles together, as a group. As much as I love solo time on the trail it is the group of friends with me that make the trip. Some of my best friends and myself have made a pledge to go on a trip together every year. These trips create the opportunity for true, authentic conversations about God and life to happen. God uses these guys to encourage, challenge, and call me out when needed. This yearly trip has a lasting impact that continually shapes my life.

I understand not everyone wants to spend 4 days without a shower and their bed while eating trail mix but my encouragement is to Head to your Mountain … Maybe that means:

•  Rounding up a group of friends for a weekend at a beach house
•  Having a great conversation over coffee with a good friend
•  Spending time at the local park for the day to read and pray
•  While on vacation spend a few days without your phone
•  Go on a date with your spouse or significant other

Do whatever you need in order to fully disconnect. It is worth the effort to create the space like Jesus did to hear from the Father whether that is alone or with a group. The price is steep if we don’t. So Head to the Mountains…maybe I will see you on the trail.

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