A Higher Perspective
As we stepped off the ship in Alaska’s capital, Mount Juneau rose up in the background, green and rugged. After our group assembled, we climbed into the enclosed Mt. Roberts Tramway—it started right there on the cruise ship dock—and within minutes we were soaring over downtown Juneau. Eventually, the charming city gave way to mossy trees and lush rainforest. Behind us was the harbor. Ahead of us, the cloudy mountaintop.
It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you take on a more elevated view. We passed over a bustling city with beautiful homes, but the height made them seem almost like dollhouses—lovely but ultimately small and inconsequential. Maybe it was the towering peak, or the crisp, cool air that met us when we reached the top. Maybe it was the view of untouched wilderness in every direction. Or maybe it was the sight of Father Brown’s cross, a replica of the wooden one erected by the priest after he built the first trail to the top of this mountain more than a hundred years ago.
But something about the moment made me realize why Christian travel like this can be so meaningful: it changes the way we see things. It makes the hustle-and-bustle less significant. It draws our attention toward beauty—and toward the cross—rather than the temporary distractions on the ground.
On the cruise, Tony Evans had been talking about the two types of revelation. Scripture is a special revelation from God. Creation is God’s general revelation. God uses both to inform us of His character. I can’t imagine any place that makes this more clear than Alaska. From the cold, deep-blue grandeur of Glacier Bay to the imposing glaciers themselves, this part of the world practically shouts out the power and creative majesty of God.
If we can change our perspective and really, really listen, nature shows us a God who delights in the tiniest details, who creates enormous mountains, glaciers, and oceans but also cares about the smallest sparrow. He holds this complex world in His hands and still pursues a personal relationship with us. Even better, He sees our own lives from this elevated perspective. From this heightened view, our daily burdens—which He understands and helps us carry, of course—are rarely as important as they seem at the time. The “view from the top” helps us recognize insignificant things for what they are, and changes our perspective on what’s truly important. Like His love, His relationship with us, and His plan for our lives.
I’ve taken a lot of photos and done a little shopping, but the souvenir I’m most excited to bring home is this shift in perspective. We knew we’d see beauty in Alaska. But I had no idea I’d end up seeing my whole life differently. I guess that’s one of the benefits of a Christian cruise.
Meanwhile, if you ever find yourself in Juneau? Take my advice: Whether it results in a spiritual epiphany or not, you have to ride the Mount Roberts Tramway. You’ll be so glad you did.