(Note: All photos in this blog post were taken by me. Click on them to see a larger version.)
I had a great reminder of that this week when I had a shift in my life and I could see literally years of pieces falling in place to make it happen.
YEARS of pieces.
It made me think about the plans I’ve made for my life throughout my life and how I could never outplan what God ended up putting into my life.
Then today, while I was in the car driving to find a coffee shop to enjoy a hot chocolate and do some research work (I do my best research work at coffee houses!) I had a real revelation from God about the plans that He’s made that have provided me with a blessing beyond measure.
Warning: If you’re a hard core conservative, you’ll probably start to wonder if I”m a secret tree hugging liberal pinko commie at the end of this post. I assure you I am not! And you’ve been warned.
I love nature. It’s the main thing that takes me when my batteries are low and charges them back up. When I can escape into God’s creation and just marvel at the creativity and diversity of plants and animals and geology, it’s like a rebirth. You can’t take time staring at and taking in the wonder of life without feeling God’s presence all over it.
Today, as I drove through the hills of Tennessee and northern Mississippi knowing a shift is coming, soaking in the trees and hills and kudzu and lakes and streams and abandoned farm silos, it hit me that God’s plan has blessed me beyond measure in ways that most people will never be able to enjoy.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I saw the four seasons and the massive snowfalls. Which I usually ended up having to shovel. A lot. Which is why I hate snow. 🙂
Then God had me drive across the country to a job in New Mexico. I saw Wrigley from a distance as I passed on the highway. Ditto Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Arch. Wheat fields that went on forever.
Then New Mexico. The red rocks. A mesa where I could see for hundreds of miles in every direction. Native American culture. The heat of Phoenix. The beauty of Flagstaff, AZ. The awe of standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Then Minnesota. And while I hate snow, there was a stark beauty to northern Minnesota in the winter. And for the 3 days of summer, there’s nothing like a drive along Lake Superior. Sitting in Grand Marais along a pebble beach watching the waves splash along the peninsula. Seeing moose in Canada. Seeing Division I college hockey (and I love my hockey.) Mosquitos the size of Buicks. Mall of America.
Michigan…Detroit…old Tiger Stadium before it was torn down. Standing in the batter’s box and looking at the outfield wall that couldn’t hold Kirk Gibson hit a game winning World Series home run.
Missouri…Springfield. St. Louis. Kansas City. The lake of the Ozarks. Branson shows where the entertainers are as good as you can see anywhere else at half the price. Table Rock Lake. Morningside. Hiking trails. Lakes and lakes and lakes.
Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi….the rolling hills. The lakes, the trees, the kudzu. All the country roads that lead you away from the hustle of the city and into the peace of the world. All the lakes that are too numerous to mention. The huge farms that have fields stretching as far as the eye can see.
Trips that allowed me to see the boardwalk in Atlantic City (and be thrown off a pier into the Atlantic.) California to see Disneyland and the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego Zoo. Lousiana to see the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
Such blessings to see those…and all the things that I didn’t mention.
All these things that I look back and realize that God planned them long before I could even conceive some of them. And He added so much more than I could have planned.
And created all that beauty long before any of us were even glints in our daddy’s eyes.
That’s why I think we need to take care of it.
Now, I’m not the uber left wing tree hugging type. I think God provided things in nature for our use and consumption. We have trees so we can build shelters, have fires, etc. I’m not someone who thinks that we need to shut down all industry so perhaps the Gordon’s Weepy Toe Cheese Sloth doesn’t lose any of its population.
But I think we need to take care of it because without it, I couldn’t recharge. And I think it would be a sin to abuse the things God gave us.
Yes, abuse it.
Sure, I hear all the time that “Satan is the prince of this world! That’s why the world is decaying!” I agree with that to a point. We don’t need to hasten the decline by carelessly treating God’s creation.
If we can recycle some paper products and save acres of 150 year old trees, I think we should do that. There’s just part of me that has a total peace over the idea that God would look at us and say it’s not being a good steward of the provisions given us if we were to cut those trees down when we don’t have to absolutely do it.
If you want to call me a tree-hugger for that, so be it. I’m following what I think God wants us to do to steward His creation. And He, as always, comes first.
It’s certainly been a day of reflection.
And I like days like this.