reflection, Scenery

Impending Storms

We were in a relatively small boat down in the Virgin Islands when we saw this storm in the distance. It reached us a few minutes later, but fortunately, we didn’t get too wet.

I must confess, I have mixed feelings about rain and storms. I know that we need rain. Thousands of people die each year around the world due to drought. On the other hand, we’ve recently seen the effects of too much rain with flooding and crops being ruined. There are many things in my life with obvious issues involving too much, too little. Like work. Too busy and I feel overwhelmed. Not busy enough and I get bored. Or people. When I have no one to interact with, I feel lonely. In a large gathering, I sometimes feel the need to find a quiet space.

We often hear about moderation but the word I prefer to focus on is balance. Finding the “middle ground.” While there are plenty of things we can’t control (like the rain), there are plenty of other areas where God leads us to find the balance between enough and too much.

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reflection, Scenery

Salt of the World

This is another photo taken on St John, USVI at the National Park. This is called the Salt Pond and if you look closely, you can see something white at the edge of the pond. This is salt which forms at the edges (and gives the pond it’s name). This happens because the pond is actually below sea level. So water from the sea gets in, but can not escape except by evaporation. When there are extended periods of time with no rain, the salt concentration get so high that the salt precipitates out. People actually come to this pond to collect salt and report that it “tastes good!” The red color is reportedly due to algae in the pond.

We are called to be salt, to provide “flavor” for the world. In our modern world, it is easy to overlook the value and importance of salt. I imagine the value of salt was more appreciated in New Testament times.

May we allow God to use us to provide “value” to those around us.

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reflection, Scenery

Compare and Despair!

I’ve written before about my fascination with birds in flight. I often wonder what it would be like to fly (minus the airplane). I find myself envying the birds. However, if birds are capable of complex thought, they probably look at us and envy the fact that we can hop in a car and drive to the grocery store!

Better to be thankful for what we have than envious of what others have. Or as I hear on occasion, “compare and despair.”

Photo: Sunrise, St John’s, USVI

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reflection, Scenery

The Cacti

This was another photo taken on our hike to Ram Head on St John Island. We saw more of these cacti, Turk’s Cap (Melocactus intortus), than I could count. We understand that we were about a week early to see them bloom. The flowers are supposedly edible. We talked to some other hikers who had been on the island for awhile and said the red “heads” had appeared in the past week.

This illustrates a common occurrence in life. We can be happy for that which we have and experience, or we can focus on/ long for that which is “missing” or out of our reach.

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reflection, Scenery

Unexpected Path

This photo was taken during our hike in the Virgin Island National Park, St John. At this time, I was trying to capture the pile of stones that marked the turn up the hill headed to Ram Head. As I look at the photo now, however, what I see is a strikingly blue path leading to a small island.

It makes me think of the “turns” in life that at the time, seemed to be leading me one way, but in hindsight actually led in a direction I did not expect. Or would necessarily have chosen.

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reflection, Scenery

God’s Love

This photo is from a trail in the Virgin Islands National Park on St John. There so many amazing views looking out at the water. One of the things i liked about this view was seeing how clear the water is, yet at the same time so blue. So clear that some of the difference in appearance (when close to the water like this) is actually due to what is at the bottom- sand, vegetation, reef and so forth.

God’s love is that that in many ways. Present everywhere you look. Yet it may appear differently depending on the surrounding circumstances.

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