God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The End

A Greek philosopher once said that “you cannot step into the same river twice.” That seems to be an apt thought at the end of the calendar year. We will not experience anything exactly the same as we did this past year.

I picked this photo of the sunset for my last reflection of the year. Just as evening is a good time to reflect of the day, this is a good time to reflect on the past year. Where have you encountered God during the year?

(Photo: Little Missouri River, Theodore Roosevelt NP)

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The River

This is the Virgin River, in Zion NP. It is not easily seen in the photo, but the Parus Trail can be seen beside the river. While I stand here admiring this view, it is likely someone on the trail below is also enjoying their view, though it is very different from mine. Different even though we are not so far apart. A vivid reminder of how we each experience the same situation so differently.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Deceiving

This is the Lower Waterfall in Hocking Hills. We visited there at the end of last December. I think the picture is somewhat deceiving because it doesn’t look a bit like winter to me. I suppose all of the trees in the photo are evergreens. It was not a very cold day, in the 40s as I recall. But I was not remotely tempted to get into this water, as inviting as it appears.

It is often said that looks can be deceiving. An important principle to remember when trying to make decisions about our future. People are not always as happy as they look. Struggles can be very rewarding. Point A to Point B is not always a straight line.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Twists and Turns

This is a photo of the Oxbow Overlook in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. An oxbow is an U-shaped bend in a river or a curved lake left as a remnant when the loop gets cut off from the narrow part of the bend. The Little Missouri River actually does a double bend here, with the river doing a complete 270 degree turn within the width of this photo.

I have been reflecting this past week on how it’s hard to know where life’s twists and turns are taking us. I heard a recent podcast that talked about the mistake of committing to a decision and being unwilling to change course, even when events make it clear a change of course is needed. Although many of the examples were from the corporate world, it applies as much (or more) to our personal decisions.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Be Radiant

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my mouth. My soul will glory in the Lord; let the poor hear and be glad. Magnify the Lord with me; and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. This poor one cried out and the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. Psalms‬ ‭34:2-8‬

(Photo: Wind Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt NP)

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Wind

This is the Wind Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt NP. It is near the Little Missouri River, but was actually formed by erosion from wind and rain rather than the river. This makes me think of how God appeared to Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-12) – not in the strong and violent wind (or earthquake, or fire) but in a light silent sound.

We often expect to see God in large and dramatic ways. Seeing God in all things also means looking for God in the small and common things that we encounter.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Longing

This photo was taken during the Maah Daah Hey Trail run in July. It was hot – very hot. As you can see, there were a few trees but almost none provide shade for the trail. This lake was just over 8 miles into the run. Combine this with the fact that the first aid station was not until after mile 10 and you can understand why I was longing for cool water.

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. Psalms‬ ‭42:2-3

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Long Time

This photo was taken just south of Medora on the Maah Daah Hey Trail which is a 144-mile single track trail that winds through the Little Missouri National Grasslands.The trail extends through the South Unit almost to the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt NP.

Maah Daah Hey is a phrase from the Mandan Indians meaning “will be around for a long time.” That’s an interesting concept, a “long time.” We are told that to God, 1000 years are as a day (2 Peter 3:8). I can’t imagine what would seem a long time to God.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Persistence

This was one of many different scenic views we had of the Little Missouri River in Theodore Roosevelet NP. The river (and its tributaries) are largely responsible for the formation of the Badlands in North Dakota, along with erosion from wind and rain.

It amazes me to see how great an impact a river can have on the landscape. Over thousands/millions of years, that is. Oh to develop a fraction of that persistence!

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