Enjoy the Journey

Recently, I went up to Stone Mountain State Park with High School Students, our youth interns, and some adults for a little hike. It was a great time hanging out and trekking through some of God’s wonderful creation.

By the power of his word, God created the world and by the power of His word he continues to sustain the world. Today was a challenge for the students to be amazed by and unbelievably creative and wonderful God.  It was another adventure through God’s spoken world. We went on an art appreciation trip. We didn’t have to visit a stuffy museum (although I really do dig art museums) or stuffier curators (although I think a curator/spy would be a great character in a book sometime, somewhere). For this art appreciation venture, we went to the mountains. We went there to appreciate the greatest artist in the history of ever.

As we were planning the trip, I was mapping out the trail in my head.  I wanted to make sure that we spent some time on the top of the mountain. I wanted to make sure we stopped at a nice quiet and shady place to eat lunch. And I wanted to make sure that we stopped and played at the bottom of the waterfall.  As we made our way to the first point, the summit, I was in a hurry and worried about making it to each point on our trip in a timely manner that I probably missed a lot of exciting things. After getting to the top and reflecting on this for a while, I decided to enjoy the journey. I would enjoy the “points of interest” as they came. This way everything became a point of interest.

As I was walking, I began to think that I miss a lot of life because I want to get to the next point. I don’t want to miss the journey in my life.  A lot of times I find myself looking forward to the next big event, vacation, days off, or something like that. I have such a tendency to get caught up in “looking ahead” that I miss the “right now.” There is a lot to appreciate in the “right now.” Some of the greatest moments of any trip – of life – are the things that happen while you are getting to where you are going. Enjoy the journey.

So, I relaxed and enjoyed the journey. I remembered that God is infinitely creative. He creates wonderful things like trees, leaves, streams, rocks, bugs, mountains, snakes, owls, and cicadas. He creates a vast amount of all of them.  He can’t help but be creative.

Here are a few reflections from our trip:

-God knows the curvature of every tree that I didn’t see today.

-On top of the mountain, I gazed at the vastness all around me. I felt small.  It is good to feel small compared to the greatness of our God.

– I don’t stop enough to appreciate the art of God.

– God’s art is always on display, and it doesn’t cost anything to examine it.

– A tiny bug landed on my arm.  I watched it for about 4 seconds.  Then it flew away.  I will never again encounter that bug in my life, yet the LORD still knows where it is, what it is doing, and how long it will live.

– I watched the birds soaring high above the mountain.  They were care free. Why do I worry? The birds know who cares for them. Why do I freak out? God cares for the birds, how much more will he care for me?

– I looked at all the craters, crevices, and holes that the water had made in the might stone faced mountain and I realized that #waterwins. Water is a powerful force. If you don’t believe me just ask the antediluvians (thanks Greg).

– There were some people who walked by and I wondered if they knew what was happening.  I wondered if they knew that they were still alive because God said it and it was so.

-I stared at a tree in front of me overlooking the mountains.  I began to get a bit envious of the view that he had for life.  Every morning when the sun rises he has an awesome view. Every evening when the sun sets, he has an awesome view. Then I thought to myself, “But, I really like having legs. I like be able to move around and see different views.” I can go to and from places experience a wide variety of this wonderfully impossible to believe world.

Our God is a great and wonderful God. He is a masterful artist in both quantity and quality. It would be easy to get lost in the vastness of the forest – the trees, the leaves, the rocks, the creepy crawlers, and anything else that exists under that rock that I wanted to move, but couldn’t get it to budge. When I think about all of the things that exist in this world – great and small – I always feel really insignificant. But, that is the point.  Though we seem tiny and insignificant compared to a mountain or a forest, we aren’t. The God who made all the trees and rocks and mountains, cares for humans in a much deeper way.  He cared enough to become one of us. He didn’t become a mountain or a fern or a barred owl. He became a man. He lived, died, and rose again. He calls humans into his family. Now that’s pretty incredible.

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