God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Closer to God

This is Balanced Rock at Big Bend NP. Well named, although Balanced Boulder might be more accurate. For perspective on size, I could not touch the rock when I was standing under it. How did that rock wind up there? Unlike the formation with the same name at Arches, this is clearly not just the result of erosion. It sure looks like it came rolling down and wedged itself into that position.

There are a lot of things in life that leave us wondering how they came to be. I see many people with infections who want to know how they got that infection. More often than not, I have to admit that we have no idea. Not knowing can be frustrating; I think it exposes our vulnerability. It also reinforces the knowledge that we don’t always get what we want.

Ignatius of Loyola taught that we should seek neither health nor sickness, wealth nor poverty. Rather, we should seek only that which draws us closer to God.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Familiar

This is a photo at Big Bend NP at sunrise. At the far left, you can see a formation called the Mule Ears. Why mule ears? It looks as much like many other animals. Personally, I see owl ears.

Mules were used for transporting supplies in the early 1900s in the area. So it makes sense that a mule would be the animal that came to mind.

For me a reminder, look for God in the familiar.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Time & Distance

This is a photo of the Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend. The Rio Grande River run through and created the canyon. It looks very much like a “V” in this view. But from inside the canyon, the walls look almost straight up. Mostly, this is because you can’t see the tops of the walls from the bottom. Also, I think this view makes it look a little more V-shaped than it really is in the inner part of the canyon.

A reminder that distance (and time) gives a different perspective. It may be more accurate, but may be less so.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Details Matter

When we were traveling around Big Bend NP, we took great delight in finding these cacti with a purple color. I really wanted to get a picture of this cactus with Santa Elena Canyon in the (distant) background. So much so that as I was positioning myself, I backed into a cactus. Which was startling but not particularly painful. Unfortunately, as I was pulling a needle out of my backside, I got a small piece wedged under my fingernail. That was excruciatingly painful. I had to trim my nail all the way back to get the remnant out.

I’m struck by how strong (and strange) that memory is, and the contrast with the beauty of the photo. Even the smallest of details matter.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Safety

This was a very nice hike in Big Bend NP, the Window Trail. In the photo, you can see the Window, which is an opening in the rim around the Chisos Basin. After a hard rain, there would be waterfall flowing through the opening (pour-off). It was completely dry while we were there. Being November, it was also much cooler than the summer. We saw lots of signs about completing hikes by 10AM to avoid the worst heat.

I think most of us try to be aware of the dangers that surround us. Additionally, we all have a tendency to see only what we are looking for. The beginning of 2020 seems like a distant memory, when things were “normal” and “safe”. Though the world has not fundamentally changed, our experience and perspective has definitely changed over the past year. While current events can be disturbing, remember that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Wind Blows

This photo was taken near the top of the List Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park. The thing I remember most about this section of the hike is how windy it was. At this point, we were heading directly toward the sun. As you can see in the photo, the trail is only about 10 feet wide with a decent drop off on both sides. I didn’t feel like I was going to be blown over, but it was difficult to walk straight.

I’ve written before about seeing the effects of the wind even though you can not see the wind. This was an experience of feeling the wind even though there was little visible evidence of the wind.

God moves and sometimes we see the result. Other times, we only feel the effect.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Before we were formed

I’ve seen many examples of the power of water, but this was one of the more dramatic examples. This is the Rio Grande River passing through the Boquillas Canyon. It doesn’t seem possible, but the river is passing right through a mountain ridge. What explains this phenomenon is that the river was here before the mountains and it cut the canyon as the mountains were forming.

God existed before we were born and has been shaping us since we were in the womb.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Sing a New Song

Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. Psalms 96:1-4

(Photo: Big Bend National Park)

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