Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One Magnificent Rock

Being a nature lover, I flaunt endlessly over mountains, trees, flowers, and rocks, going crazy with the camera, and my kids give me a hard time about it.  "Wait, Mom has to take pictures of another tree.  Mom, those flowers look like the others.  Is nature all you're interested in?" Well, yes.

Traveling California in 1991, my dad accused me of using a new role of film for every tree or rock.  Guilty. But, I recently noticed two pages of the same scenery in his Yellowstone National Park vacation album.  "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."  In our defense, nature is worth documenting, and some places are simply too grand for a single picture, especially one too- magnificent-to-miss rock in California.

In the summer of 2014, I traveled with my husband and kids again to California and took full advantage of nature's grandeur along California's spectacular Pacific Coast Highway.  I planned this leg of the trip with picturesque stops in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur.  However, on our final day of exploring my favorite place on earth, Big Sur, my kids had seen enough.  "No more, Mom, please. We can't look at another rock."

After a few days in Los Angles, we traveled north again to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I planned this two-day journey, too, so my kids knew there would be more NATURE.  "I guess we'll see more rocks."  Although not nearly as impressed as their mom, they enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park's hours of curves and breathtaking views. They took pictures and admitted it was worth seeing. 

Then, we drove to my second favorite place on earth, Yosemite National Park.  Driving through Yosemite, David and I promised them they'd love it at the top where we'd see the waterfall, El Capitan, and Half Dome. "More rocks? More trees? oh goodie," they remarked.  But, I'll never forget their faces when we reached Glacier Point, where the view is boulder after grand boulder. Then, the granddaddy of them all, Half Dome. They were awed and took almost as many pictures as I did (almost).

We saw incredible rocks along the Pacific coast and driving through Kings Canyon, but none compared to Half Dome.  It was worth the drive and the wait.  Yosemite was crowded and busy, hot and dry, and although my kids didn't care to see more rocks, they were glad we didn't miss what the Ahwahnechees originally called Tis-sa-ack, the name of a mother from native legend.

"You are my witnesses-is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock - not one." Isaiah 44:8
"He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:6

We live in a world of many inspirational resources with entire stores devoted to our faith, offering hundreds of books, DVDs and music.  We don't have to search far for a preacher, a pod-cast or website and have access to faith based radio stations and television.  We turn on our computers and find devotional blogs. 

But, there's only one Rock, one salvation.  Years ago, I felt proud of myself reading a faith based, then the author said -paraphrasing- if you're reading my words instead of God's Word, put this book down. YIKES. Preachers, blogs, books, DVDs are inspirational and make us think.  Hopefully, though, they lead us to travel further and search God's Word on our own and to a personal relationship with the One True Rock. 

What if all the inspirational material satisfied us and our preachers, radios, DVDs were the final destination? What if after reading a few faith based books, I say, "I've seen enough scripture," and never search, climb and discover God's Word on my own?  Often, Sunday's message and music are my final stop.  When I do travel further, though, this Rock offers more awe than I ever imagined.

Maybe life is dry, and you're tired but believe you've seen or heard enough preachers and read enough books or blogs about God.  Don't stop. Continue traveling alone through your own Bible and discover the One truly magnificent Rock, and be awed.

He's worth the time,