Coming across the Rocky Mountains last week, along what I believe to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country, a glance in the rear-view mirror captured my attention. After winding down the east side of Roger’s Pass, the highway straightened out for a long stretch and seemingly reached out for some infinite point in the distant mountain range. The beckoning springtime grass, scattered clouds and silent highway combined to make a compelling scene. This sight brought to mind a number of thoughts and Scriptural messages, but one in particular felt like just the right fit.
“Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God!” Isaiah (40:3) spoke these prophetic words about John the Baptist’s future role. Later, each of the Gospel writers would document John doing precisely this, with John 1:23 recording, “He [John the Baptist] said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness; Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said.”
So John basically made this proclamation to anyone who would listen to him, and maybe even to some who wouldn’t. But what was he telling them? God can do anything He wills, surely he doesn’t need people to pave the way for Him! John’s purpose in this announcement was to put people at the ready for Jesus Christ, who would soon be in their midst. This was not only so folks would be on the lookout for Him, but was an urging for people to get their lives right by God prior to the impending arrival of the King.
Just as the arrival of Jesus Christ in the flesh was imminent in the time of John the Baptist’s life, the Kingdom of Heaven will soon be at hand when Christ returns in judgement. We don’t know when that will happen (Matthew 25:13), but if our lives are not right with God at that moment, we will not join the fellowship in His kingdom. Worse, we will be ushered to the gates of Hades. So, what if you don’t believe that Christ’s return is going to happen soon? Well, perhaps you’re right, but then I’d ask, when will you die? Again, if you don’t have your life right with God when you leave this life on earth, the same rules apply. And that death can happen in an instant – even when you’re least expecting it.
Listen carefully…..do you hear it? Hailing from the clutter and noise of our modern day wilderness can still be heard that same announcement – Make straight the way of the Lord!
The light was getting tough as I traveled over Rabbit Ears Pass, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, just in time to capture a few images of this handsome fellow. I don’t get the chance to see Moose very often in my travels, so it is always exciting when I am blessed with the opportunity. I think it has been about a year and a half since my last moose post, Moose Portraiture.
Well, our short trip came to a rather abrupt end, at least in terms of climate change. We departed sunny California on Sunday with 70 degrees weather, and woke up Monday morning in beautiful Fernley, Nevada, where it was 19 degrees and light snow! The remainder of the trip home was relatively uneventful, which is usually a good thing when I’m driving (and some would say miraculous, considering how I drive!). The past several posts on His Creation have featured a number of the landscapes and wildlife from our trip, but I still have a few more to share that didn’t seem to fit the other topics.
Whenever I am fortunate enough to photograph something that is rarely seen, I get pretty excited. And, because I mostly photograph wildlife, particularly birds, when I get am image of a seldom seen critter, it is really exciting. I was blessed with the opportunity to get some shots of a Greater Roadrunner. Now this isn’t the most attractive bird in the world, but perhaps having grown up with the Bugs Bunny & Roadrunner Show gave this bird a special place in my heart. It also may have something to do with a vivid memory I have of my brother and I chasing one of these birds through a sagebrush covered hill, actually thinking we might catch it! Thinking back, we probably looked the part of Wile E. Coyote to anyone who might have been watching us.
In our neck of the woods we have a lot of Magpies, and for many years I thought all Magpies were the same. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized that here in the Rocky Mountains, we have Black-billed Magpies, but Yellow-billed Magpies reside on the west coast. So, after chasing several uncooperative subjects around, I finally found one that seemed to enjoy posing for a portrait.
I find it humorous that some critters are considered pests when they are in your yard or farmland, but when you see the same animals in a park or at the beach, they take on a different significance. Over the years I have spent hundreds of hours and untold cases of ammunition in attempts to reduce ground squirrel populations from the farms and ranches I’ve worked on. Yet now I find myself shooting them with the camera!
Because the weather was still cold and snowy at Zion National Park, wildlife was pretty scarce during our visit. We saw a few birds that were not particularly photo-worthy, but we did spot a Pacific Wren, which is another first-time sighting for me. This little guy was flitting around the Virgin River as we hiked upstream to the Narrows.
I consider myself truly blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy and experience so much of God’s wonderful creation. My routine travels take me to many wonderful and awesome places, some so unique that the camera can’t do justice in representing their grandeur. Over the course of last week’s trip, we crossed the Continental Divide several time, wandered through parts of Zion National Park at roughly 8000 feet elevation, and walked the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. We experienced beautiful, warm sunny days, fog-laden mountain passes and wind-driven snowstorms. As amazing and incredible as all this is, the pinnacle of the week was coming home. While we live in a nice home, surrounded by timber in a beautiful part of Montana, the excitement about coming home has nothing to do with those things. It is all about getting back to a place where I belong, because I am wanted there, loved there, and there is place for me to occupy. Coming home is always the best part, and I think it is just an inkling of how great it will be to finally go home to God’s kingdom. Just think for a minute about what we have to look forward to; “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, thereyou may be also.”(John 14:1-3) Sounds like a great place to spend eternity, does it not? Everyone of us has the option of taking up residence in His house, we only need to find the way. Fortunately we have been given the map to get there by the greatest Guide of all, Jesus Christ; “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) If you don’t know Christ, and if you haven’t asked Him to be the Lord of your life, you will never find the way.
- Some things just don’t fit! (bigskyken.wordpress.com)