God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Up Close or Far Away

This photo was taken at Arches National Park of an area called the Fiery Furnace. It gets its name from the fiery red appearance at sunset. Not only is it dramatic from a distance, it is dramatic to hike through with numerous sandstone arches including the Walk Through Arch, Crawl Through Arch, Skull Arch, Kissing Turtles Arch, and Surprise Arch. To limit the impact on the environmental, a permit is required for access to the Fiery Furnace (or you can join a ranger-guided tour).

Creation, amazing up close or far away.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

God’s Presence

This photo was taken on one of our last days at Yellowstone. When we arrived at this trail, we had to wait a few minutes because there were a large number of bison crossing the trail about where I was standing to take this picture. They are visible near the center of this photo.

There were a couple of times during our trip when bison crossing the road created a back up of cars. Close encounters with bison are not infrequent. In fact, I was surprised at how easy it was to observe them up close (from our car). They seem quite oblivious to the people and cars around them. Then you read reports about a bison attacking a car (or person) and you realize they not completely oblivious to our presence around them.

I think we are often like the bison – nearly oblivious to God’s presence around us. Occasionally, we do recognize God and can not help but react.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

An Imperfect World

This is the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone. When we were there, we saw the spring from multiple different views on two different days. This was the first day we saw it; it was a very cloudy and drizzly day. As a result, it was hard to get a really good view of the spring. We went back 2 days later on a much clearer (and warmer) day. What a difference in the views! That said, the views were still amazing this first day.

So what would my impression of the Grand Prismatic Spring have been if I had only seen it the first day? Disappointment? How often are we disappointed because something is not “perfect”? How do we even know what is perfect?

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Cycles of Life

This photo was taken one year ago at New Smyrna Beach. For me, that week marked the beginning of the pandemic. I was already following what was going on in other parts of the world in since early February. But that week in March, life as we knew it changed.

It has been striking to hear numerous reviews of the past year, often from very different perspectives. In many ways, it feels like life is finally returning to “normal”. I realize we’re not there yet and it may be difficult to know when we are there.

But I find great comfort in comparing the pandemic to other cycles in life – one sunrise to the next, the four seasons, the succession of generations. And God is present in each.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Standing Out

This is a photo of Mt Rainier from our trip 4 years ago. The mountain certainly makes for a striking image. One reason is that the peak is so much higher than the surrounding area. As I understand it, this is expressed as the topographic prominence which is over 13,000 ft for Mt Rainier (most in the contiguous US).

We are called to stand out. To be a city on a hill. How? Through our love. Love of God, love of neighbor.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Path

This photo was taken at Capitol Reef National Park on the Cohab Canyon Fruita Overlook Trail. I almost laughed when I came over a small ridge and saw the path going ahead. You don’t usually see it so well marked out on a rocky surface. More often, all you have is a single cairn as seen in the lower left.

Similarly, there are times in our lives when the right decision seems clearly “marked” and other times more trust is required that we are following the right “path.”

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