Let me set the scene for you. As a family we love to be outside. I mean L-O-V-E. But it’s been a long cold, extra snowy winter and some of us, ok, some of me, hasn’t moved far from the house in months.  My brother came up from Texas and wanted to go to Arches National Park for the day. Great idea, it’s warm, it’s sunny, and we lived there for some years when I was a child, so it would be nice to visit.

We all piled into my car for our little day trip. My brother, who is a former Marine, and current fire fighter, and works out daily; two daughters who have spent lots of time outside snowshoeing and sledding, and who are also training for a 5K; and my Dad and myself… we have more sense than to expend such energy and are addicts of sugary, bad for you, food stuffs.  Can you see the predicament, yet?

We decided on one big hike… three miles, straight up, hottest part of the day. Obviously sugar has also led to a lack in our decision making skills. Yeah, us. First of all, they call it slick rock for a reason. Just so you know. And second, no matter how much water you schlep up that mountain, you will wish you had more.

My brother and the girls walked at a normal speed some 100+ yards ahead of us; while Dad and I crept along at such a pace we literally watched the sandstone take shape before our eyes. Half way through we both swore off sugar and fats for eternity, and about three quarters of the way we stopped to admire the outcrop of quartz, while secretly hoping we could find something else of interest to buy us rest time.

Standing there with sweat dripping in all my cracks, and at 40 yrs old, I’ve got several; the most beautiful breeze came spilling into our misery. I did not even fathom to ask for it, and could not force it to stay. I could only enjoy the coolness, the way it refreshed all that it could touch and much of what it didn’t.  I was grateful and said so aloud.

Dad joined in and we began to walk again talking about the metaphor of wind that Jesus uses to speak of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:8) As we hiked I saw all around me evidences of wind. Sandstone shaped in huge monoliths and arches, by wind and water. Both are metaphors of the Holy Spirit. I saw where quartz would not be shaped, but only broken into pieces and scattered about. But sandstone does yield and thousands of people come to see its formation by the wind and water.  We all know the sandstone didn’t form itself, and when we ourselves feel this wind that shaped the land, we are shaped too.

How has nature taught you?

Now Underway: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? First, choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

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