There's something about going up to a high place and seeing far beyond one's usual range. People with a spiritual orientation often long for the metaphorical equivalent. Questions of "why am I here?", "what's my purpose?", "is there anything for me after death?" all seek to put ourselves into a bigger picture and a wider context in both time and place. Is there something more than "just me"? Sometimes I despair that humanity will never get beyond its obsession with individual power, wealth and glory, and often at the expense of others or of our world. Yet we are part of a bigger picture - just one branch in a vine. But to "look beyond" often means going outside our comfort zone. I hadn't realized how difficult this might be - even on a small scale - until members of my church expressed discomfort when asked to welcome their neighbour as a part of Sunday worship. Welcoming others is a sacred act - it connects you with a world beyond yourself. Christians believe that Christ (the vine) is present among us, joining us. So the hand you shake may be the hand of Christ, and the time to do that is now. Our purpose is more than constructing an isolated but peaceful and comfortable existence for ourselves. Instead, it could mean entering into challenging relationships with others, but that's what God does with us, every moment of every day.