“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

    the moon and the stars that you have established;

 what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

    mortals that you care for them?”

Psalm 8:3-4, NRSV


This is a hard admission to make… especially for a professional “word guy.”

But the truth is: sometimes words just fall short. Or ring hollow. Or both.

Pictures are a huge improvement. But sometimes they fall a little flat, too.

Sometimes God’s glory just has to be experienced instead of explained.

That insight will stand as Takeaway #1 from the vacation we just returned from.

As some of you know, Joan and I spent the last two weeks traveling to and touring around the amazing state of Utah.

During the course of that time we drove 4,255 miles, saw four National Parks, three state parks, two Tribal Areas, and approximately 1,563,412 awesome and amazing sights. Here are a couple of pictures just to whet your appetite a little:

on-horses  mesa-arch


If you have been to this part of Utah before, you know what I am talking about. There are so many areas that offer breathtaking views of some truly indescribable natural beauty.

And the crazy thing is just how DIFFERENT all of these places are from one another. There is the dry desert area near Moab that produces one type of rock formation, a totally different misty, forested scenery in and around Zion National Park, and then some strange, otherworldly moonscapes near Bryce Canyon.

We had some scorching days above 90 degrees, thunder and lightning and hail, and one morning where we awoke to a light blanket of snow on the car… all within a few days and a few hundred miles of one another.

If a person traveling through this same area were even halfway awake and paying attention, it would be impossible – in my opinion – to be anything but completely awestruck and humbled by the experience.

When you consider the millions of years of time these mountains represent… the small and yet profound effect of wind and water and seismic pressure that have all conspired to carve these ornate and magical shapes out of rock and sand… the perfect harmony of colors… the blend of light and shadow and tree and grass that come together so perfectly… again, words fall painfully short of doing it justice.

A trip like this helps put me in my place. I encounter this kind of natural majesty and realize just how small I am in the face of eternal time and space.

AND YET… the miracle of it all is that the God who designed and activated all of the processes that produced the mountains, the stars, the forests, and the bighorn sheep is the same God who made YOU and loves you more deeply and profoundly than you can possibly imagine.

Whoa! My little three pounds of brain is just too small to comprehend that kind of awesomeness I’m afraid.

Whether it takes regular trips to the mountains, time spent meditating on scripture, or something else entirely, it is good to encounter this kind of humbling reminder of our own mortality and God’s amazing eternality now and then.

As much as we sometimes like to believe otherwise, you and I are NOT the center of the universe or the reason for its existence.

My God how great thou art!

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