Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Let This Be Heaven"

A week after running the Bryce 100, I found myself lacing up my Salomons under the pavilion at Ruffner Mountain. I had signed up for “Race Against The Sun” (a very brutal 36m overnight Barkleyish type race) long before I even knew I would be flying out to run Utah. After the 100, I had planned to volunteer at the start/finish area… zero intentions of actually running the race at all… heck I’d put in 10 miles earlier that afternoon and had a few drinks by the pool with my long, lost BFF Rachel… but alas… race director Kyle convinced me to at least come run one gnarly loop. I’m so glad I did. It was an amazing course and I had a blast drinking and dancing all night at the start/finish area with all my crazy trail obsessed friends.

A good friend of mine wasn’t running RATS but came to the beginning of the race to mix and mingle in the excitement of the run. I say good friend but that doesn’t really do him justice… he’s become more like a brother. I saw him and his daughter in the parking lot and he told me he had something for me. We walked over to his car and he handed me something wrapped in newspaper.

“What’s this?”

I unwrapped the newspaper to find an old postcard in the center of a handmade picture frame…

He looked at me and said, “Let me explain how this all came about… it’s crazy.”

My friend was downtown at a 2nd hand store browsing and he came across some old postcards. He started looking through and saw a “Utah” tab and for some reason, it grabbed his attention. He flipped through a few postcards (5 to be exact) and stopped at the 6th one. Why is this fact important? Only a handful of people on this rotating sphere know that my favorite number is 6.
In the Bible, the number 6 symbolizes man and human weakness… number 7 is the number of completeness and perfection…
I personally don’t want to be perfect. I don’t want to even begin to try… what fun would it be to be perfect anyways?
“May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect.”  - Fight Club -
In Tyler we trust.
Whoooooaaaaaa horsey… reel it back in Andrews… geez.
He stopped and read the postcard and it sent chills throughout his body… much like the same ones I have currently… it was perfect. He went home, put together a picture frame from some scrap wood, etched "Bryce 100" at the bottom, and placed the post card in the center.
I could have cried… but to save face in front of the cute little blonde hanging from her dad's 4runner, I opted for a hug instead. This is seriously one of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received. This .39 cent post card incased within a picture frame crafted out of leftover scrap wood, holds more value than the buckle I brought home from Bryce Canyon.

I wanted to share the poem from the post card… because if you’re anything like me… you’ll enjoy it.

“Let This Be Heaven”

H.R. Merrill

Oh, God, let this be heaven –

I do not ask for golden streets

Or long for jasper walls

Nor do I sigh for pearly shores

Where twilight never falls;

Just leave me here beside these peaks,

In this rough western land,

I love this dear old world of Thine –

Dear God, You understand.


Oh, God, let this be heaven –

I do not crave white, stainless robes,

I’ll keep these marked by toil;

Instead of straight and narrow walks

I love trails soft with soil;

I have been healed by crystal streams,

But these from snow crowned peaks

Where dawn burns incense to the day

And paints the sky in streaks.


Dear God, let this be heaven –

I do not ask for angel wings –

Just leave that old peak there

And let me climb ‘til comes the night –

I want no golden stair.

Then, when I saw my last adieu

And all farewells are given

Just leave my spirit here somewhere

Oh, God, let this be heaven!


This post card was dated 1938 and pictures the Great White Throne in Zion National Park.


I seriously couldn't ask for better people to share this life with.
Thank you bro... this gift will always remain dear to my heart.
Till tomorrow…


  1. That's awesome.

  2. Beautiful story Zach. You are a gifted and blessed person in many ways. I don't know you well but I am proud to call you friend.