This is one of my favorites of the photos that I took in Glacier National Park. I love the way the trees and mountains reflect off the water. I’ve come to realize that water has a very calming effect on me. Even more so when it is such calm water. It brings to mind the song “I’ve got peace like a river.”
This photo of a sloth was taken at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. The first time that I saw a sloth was in Costa Rica. I could not believe how slow the sloth moved! They actually move at an average speed of 10 ft./m (Wikipedia).
Sloth is also a term for spiritual apathy and inactivity. It is easy to see on a superficial level how this association could be made with the animal sloth. But the animal has simply adapted a lifestyle based on its anatomy and physiology. For people, I think it is unfortunately more often the other way around.
This is a photograph of Upper Grinnell Lake; Grinnell Glacier can be seen at the far left in the photo. Not too long ago, all of this was the Grinnell Glacier. As the glacier has receded, the lake was formed. The appearance of the lake is striking for a couple of reasons. One obviously is the presence of the floating ice, which has broken off from the glacier. The other is the striking color of the water, which is due to the presence of glacial flour. That is the name of the finally ground particles of rocks that are picked up by the glaciers. These particles remain suspended in the water causing the distinctive turquoise color.
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25
What do you think of when you see a fire? This photograph was taken in Jamaica down by the water at Galina Breeze. I see the way the wood is stacked, and I think about the time it takes to gather and stack that wood. I see the smoke coming off of the fire, and I think about trying to figure out which direction the wind is blowing so that I’m not breathing in the smoke. I see the embers flying in the air, reminding me of the potential for fire to spread.
All of these are clearly rooted in past experiences. How we “see” the world is clearly dependent on our past experiences. And so, how we “see” God must also depend on our past experiences.
This photo has 2 things I like taking pictures of – the sunrise and the moon. Both are visible as a direct consequence of sunlight, yet the sun is not visible in this picture. For me, yet another reminder of how we can be aware of God’s presence without actually being able to see God.
In the background in this picture, you can see the Garden Wall. It is a famous example of an arête. The word “arête” is french for edge, and refers to a narrow ridge of rock which separates two valleys. It is usually formed by two glaciers eroding parallel valleys (thanks, Wikipedia).
I’m amazed when I see a canyon formed by a swiftly moving river (think Grand Canyon), but my mind is somehow able to see the water carving through rock over many, many years. My mind struggles to imagine the time it takes for ice flowing a few feet per day to carve out canyons like those in Glacier NP. How then can we grasp the idea of eternity?
It is that time of year when the leaves start changing color. That is just one of many things I enjoy about the fall. I appreciate the cooler weather, daylight savings, fall sports.
At the same time, it’s just as easy to think about the days getting shorter and cold/bad weather ahead.
Not only is it important to be present in the moment, it is even more important to seek God in the moment.
If you’ve done much hiking, I’m sure you realize that switchbacks allow you to go up a hill that you would not be able to climb directly up. It’s not hard to think of life as a series of switchbacks. Sudden changes in life take us in a completely different and almost opposite direction from where we were previously going. And yet, looking back we can see how God is drawing us towards our ultimate destination.