One of our days at Acadia was spent biking on the carriage roads. We rented E-bikes; this was a new experience for the 4 of us. It had been explained to us how the E-bikes work, but still none of us really knew what to expect.
Getting the “assist” with pedaling was almost unnoticeable – it was even difficult to recognize when you were going uphill other than watching your speed and power level.
I think that is a good metaphor for God’s presence in our lives. God is assisting us, and not just at the times when it is obvious.
It is often said that perception is reality. Without a doubt, we each perceive the world in a way that fits with our own “reality”. There a number of ways to “see” this photo. Is the lake half hidden or half visible? Is the sky mostly cloudy or is there some blue sky peeking through? Are the leaves starting to change or is there not much color yet? These are not mutually exclusive, but speak to a particular “view”.
Which is not that same as saying that whatever you believe must be true. Truth is not relative or changing. There is only one source of truth.
This is the Bass Harbor Head Light Station in Acadia NP. This famous view of the lighthouse is not easy to find. From one end of the parking lot, there is a paved path that leads directly to the base of the lighthouse. It is quite a way above the water with no path down. From the other end of the parking is a path through the trees that leads to water, but it is a little tricky walking on these rocks to get in view of the lighthouse.
Often, things of great value are difficult to obtain. Thankfully, God’s love is freely given!
I remember the deeds of the Lord, I remember your wonders of old; I muse on all your works, and ponder your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who works wonders. Psalm 77:12-15
This is a photo taken at Thunder Hole in Acadia NP, looking out to the Gulf of Maine. There is a small breeze, but the surf is fairly calm. Which makes for a nice photo and is a nice thing if you are out in a small boat. Unfortunately, it also means that there was no “thunder” at Thunder Hole. We arrived a little before high tide which is when the noise should be the loudest. We did see some spray, but not much noise.
So I took a few pictures of the little inlet where the water sprays up, then turned and started taking photos of the birds and rocks and open water. Don’t miss a great opportunity because it’s not what you were hoping for.
This is a view from The Beehive in Acadia NP. The phrase that comes to mind for me is “The long view.” There are trees in the foreground and coastline and islands in the distance.
The long view is an interesting phrase. It is often used in investing, meaning not to worry about the short term ups and downs associated with many investments but rather focus on the expected return over many years. This same idea applies to many areas of our lives – education, relationships, health/fitness and especially spirituality.
On our first full day at Acadia NP, we hiked the Gorham Mountain Loop. At one point, you come to a an intersecting trail with the option to do a short out and back to a small lake. Fortunately, it was a fairly short distance, otherwise I’m not sure any of us would have thought it was worth the extra effort to see something called “The Bowl”.
Actually, it is interesting that I use the description of “extra effort” because it was only 0.2 miles and about 60 feet elevation gain. So really, not much extra effort (we hiked about 6 miles that day). But it really wasn’t one of our “things to see” that day, and that definitely changes our perspective. Thankfully, we had at least a little bit of an adventurous spirit so we did make the “extra effort”. As it is said, life happens when you least expect it.
My wife and I traveled to Acadia National Park with another couple in October last year. This photo was taken our first full day of hiking, from the Gorham Mountain Trail. Egg Rock Lighthouse is visible beyond the Sand Beach. The leaves are beginning to change color.
At first, I was a little disappointed that we were missing the peak colors. It turned out that is was quite enjoyable to see the increase in colors as the week progressed. How often do we receive more that we had hoped for?
In the coming year, don’t hold back on your expectations. And don’t be surprised when your expectations are exceeded!