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

Pleasantly Surprised

This is another photo from the 50k in Creede, Colorado. You can easily see the trail in the middle of the photo. You can’t see the trail to the far left and rather than fading into the distance, the trail disappears over a small hill. Despite not seeing it, our minds create an image of what the trail should look like before and after what we can actually see.

Sometimes it works the same way in our daily journey. Even when we can’t see exactly what is ahead, we fill in the details in our mind. Which can lead to unrealistic expectations. Or pleasant surprises.

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Looking Back

This photo was taken looking back at the trail we had just covered during the Creede 50k. The notch that we passed through was an elevation of just over 12,000 feet. I continue to be amazed at how different the view looking down a hill compared the view looking up the same hill.

For me, this is a great reminder of the importance of not just looking ahead but also taking the time to look back. And reflect!

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Dwelling

Neverending Valley (Creede, CO)

How lovely your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God. As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, My home is by your altars, Lord of hosts, my king and my God! Blessed are those who dwell in your house! They never cease to praise you. Psalms 84:2-5

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Following Closely

This photo was taken shortly after the start of the Creede 50k. If you look closely, you will notice that everyone in the photo is walking. That is because this was a fairly steep hill, even though it may not look that way in the photo.

Before I started running trails regularly, I thought it was important to run even the uphill portions of a race. That wasn’t even possible (at least for most of us) on this course. But even on a course less difficult than Creede, it is inefficient to try to run all the uphill stretches. Holding back on the difficult climbs actually leads to running a faster overall time.

I came across the following challenge recently: “What area of your life do you need to leave behind in order to follow God more closely?” At first, I thought of only “bad“ or negative things to leave behind. But I have come to realize, as with running, there are things which may seem good but are counterproductive and hold us back.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Unexpected

This is a photo of the Rio Grande River, taken during the drive to Creede, Colorado to run the 50k. The fog over the river was striking. I’ve seen this fog over water many times before, but don’t remember driving beside the fog for such a long stretch.

It takes a specific combination of circumstances to produce fog in this pattern. It also takes a specific combination of circumstances to produce a rainbow. Both are predictable, to some degree. Predictable and yet often seen unexpectedly. Blessings are often like that – predictable but often unexpected.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Random Events

Chema River State Recreation Area

When we were up in Alaska last summer, I ran an ultramarathon near Fairbanks. There was a large fire burning and the race organizers had to alter the course to avoid the fire. This photo shows the fire from a distance. Though it involved thousands of acres, it was not considered a major threat and was mostly being allowed to burn unchecked. There was a nearby resort that was being protected by fire fighters. The resort was where the ultra was supposed to finish.

Random events don’t seem very random when we are directly involved or affected. It is easy to see ourselves as the center of the world and think mainly of how an event affects us personally. Very important to step back and remember that God is at the center (of everything).

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

First Impression

China River State Recreation Area

This is a photo of the start and finish area of the 50k race I recently completed outside Fairbanks, Alaska. Much like the cover of a book, the start area forms the first impression of a race. But the total experience is so much more! This course was pleasant – a nice “walk on the woods”.

We say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” usually meaning not to judge a person based exclusively on a first impression. The same is true for experiences in life; imagine that God is waiting around every corner.

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