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The Good Lord outdoors

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POSTED January 21, 2018 10:34 p.m.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but occasionally I play hooky from church to spend time outdoors rather than listen to a sermon in a stuffy old building. For some reason, I feel closer to The Good Lord out in his magnificent creations than I do indoors.

Once I was walking across a frozen lake in early spring while in the high Sierras. I was confident that the ice was still thick enough to support my weight. Boy was I wrong. I was about halfway across the lake when I heard a loud crack very much like a rifle shot. Then the ice began to collapse beneath my feet. I figured I was a goner Searchers would probably find my body after all the ice had melted in a couple weeks. I had a very quick conversation with The Good Lord and promised that if He got me off the lake alive I would have perfect attendance at church for an entire year! I sunk about 6 inches into the lake when I hit another layer of ice below the surface and only got wet up to my ankles. Was it a miracle? Who knows? But I had perfect attendance at church for the next year. If you make a deal with The Good Lord, you’d better keep it!

In my decade’s astream and afield, I have regularly come across what I believe to be the handiwork of an omnipotent God. If you have ever gazed upon the sunlight as it illuminates El Capitan or Half dome at dusk, you’ll have seen a little glimpse of what I mean. Almost everywhere I go outdoors, there is amazing beauty that I believe cannot be simply some sort of giant cosmic accident. 

Once on a dreary foggy winter day, I was tired of staring into a cold wet fog, and decided to try to try to climb above the fog and gaze upon some much needed sunshine. I headed into the coastal hills between California’s great Central Valley and the sea. I climbed higher and higher into the fog shrouded hills until finally I reached a ridge top and the sun broke through. Looking East, I saw below me a brilliant white blanket of cotton ball clouds that completely covered the entire valley. Directly across the sea of white, arose the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains and I found myself looking directly into Yosemite Valley over 50 miles away. Standing watch over it all was Half Dome, a silver sentinel bathed in the afternoon sunlight.  For some reason the words of the Marine Corp Hymn popped to mind and I knew I was indeed looking upon Heaven’s Scene. 

Time after time, I have beheld beauty so amazing it literally takes my breath away. From a giant panorama to the blossom of a single flower, from a picture- perfect rising trout, and from mists of a thundering waterfall to the rhythmic rustle of  wind through the trees, there are constant reminders of how small and insignificant I am, compared to the endless beauty and diversity of nature.  The words to the song “Taps” come to mind “Safely rest, God is neigh”.

Get out there in God’s amazing outdoors and see for yourself.

 

Until Next Week,

Tight Lines

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