God in all things, Scenery

Mostly cloudy?

This photo was taken last weekend in Philadelphia during a hike with my wife and son at Wissahickon Park. Among topics discussed was a debate about the sky being cloudy, mostly cloudy, or partly sunny. As I understand, all three of these would be correct technically although partly sunny is less preferred because you can’t use the term at night. And cloudy is less precise than partly cloudy.

McKenzie and Nelson (2003) wrote about the importance of reference points and framing effects on how we might use different terms to describe the same situation. So if it had been raining, we might say that it is now only “partly” cloudy. If it previously had been a clear day, we might say it is “mostly” cloudy. These are simple examples of how our reference point influences what we “see“.

Which brings me to seeing God in all things. When we encounter things as we want them to be, it is easier to see God in the picture. It is more difficult to see God when we encounter things that are not the way we want.

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God in all things, Scenery

Anticipation

This photo was taken from the train as we were approaching Glacier NP. I remember my anticipation of seeing the many sights we had been reading about. This view confirmed that we were about to see something very special.

The Israelites were looking forward to the promised land. Yet only Joshua and one other scout returned with a favorable report about the land. The others did not trust what God had promised.

How often do we ignore what is right in front of because we focus on the unknown?

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God in all things, Scenery, Uncategorized

Being Present

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when we were hiking at the Narrows Park. I remember the afternoon vividly. The air was crisp but not too cold. It was a sunny day and nearly no wind as you can tell from the calm water. I remember looking over and seeing the pile of rocks and thinking that it would make for a good picture. I took pictures from a couple of spots but liked this one the best.

One thing about taking pictures is it makes you pay more attention to details. Another way to think about it is that it forces you to be present in the moment. Being present is certainly an important part of seeing God in all things.

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God in all things, Scenery

Glory

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands. Day unto day pours forth speech; night unto night whispers knowledge. There is no speech, no words; their voice is not heard; A report goes forth through all the earth, their messages, to the ends of the world. He has pitched in them a tent for the sun; it comes forth like a bridegroom from his canopy, and like a hero joyfully runs its course. From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat. Psalms 19:2-7

(Photo: Bozeman, Montana)

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God in all things, Scenery

God Speaking

This is the third photo of the Grand Prismatic I have shared. Each was from a very different vantage point. As a result, each is a very different image and elicits different feelings.

Ingnatian discernment techniques can be very helpful in choosing between two (or more) seemingly good options. Suppose you are in your 60s (me) and thinking about retirement. Rather than simply listing the “pros and cons” of each option, one places themself in the future having made one decision and discerns whether that path gives a sense of joy. Then spend time thinking about having made the other decision.

Ignatius found that dreaming about fighting in battle and winning the heart of a lady was exciting but subsequently left him flat and feeling empty. When he dreamt about serving God, it left him feeling fulfilled and joyful. And though it was a difficult decision, he followed the path where he knew he was being led.

God often speaks to us in simply ways.

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God in all things, Seeing God

Highlights

This photo was taken on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone at Inspiration Point. When I was first reviewing the pictures from this spot, I did not initially realize that the Lower Falls were in sight, because they are so far off in the distance. In fact, it is difficult to determine (from this photo) if the falls are on the same river as seen at the bottom of the canyon. We had just come from the Lower Falls, so I already knew they were. Not to mention the multiple maps showing the connection.

Even if we can’t easily connect all the points, the highlights clearly stand out. And while we often remember these as “God moments”, God is with us in the valleys too.

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