Monday, August 31, 2015

WMTRBW Week 1: Awe and Wonder

This week, in response to Sunday's worship, you are invited to read chapter 1 of "We Make the Road By Walking," Awe and Wonder. I hope you'll also read again the scriptures we read in worship--Genesis 1:1-2:3, Psalm 19:1-14, and Matthew 6:25-34.

In the sermon yesterday we talked about the power of awe--how we can be transformed by letting our breath be taken away, by the beauty of the world and the wonder of our God. One of the reflection questions at the end of this week's chapter is, "What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen? What was so special about it?" I thought I'd share my answer in hopes that it might inspire some of you to share your answers in the comments section below!

I had, like, a four way tie in thinking about this. But what I finally settled on is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, which I had the chance to visit last summer. Crater Lake is in the middle of NOWHERE--you have to drive about 3 hours from anywhere that's anywhere to see it, so it is really uncrowded--part of what made me love it. It wasn't full of tourists, just beauty. Part of what made such an impression on me is that you drive, drive, drive from the park entrance, up and up and up...you see nothing for a long time...then all of a sudden there the lake is, spread out far below in the crater of a volcano (hence the name) that erupted 7700 years ago and left this lake in its place. The photo at right is not doctored at all--the water is really that blue. It is some of the clearest water on earth because no rivers run in or out of it--it is all rainwater and melted snow. I spent a whole day with my husband and one of my best friends just driving and hiking our way around its rim that measures 6 miles across, a perfect sunny day that actually led to us getting sunburned, not taking into account the high elevations we were at even though it was not that warm outside. It is a place I can only describe as magical.

So what about you? Let's practice awe and wonder this week: what is the most beautiful place you have ever been? What was so special about it?

1 comment:

Nancy Lively said...

I have a problem similar to Abby's. I have seen too many beautiful places to decide. Cesky Raj in the Czech Republic is probably the one I will choose. We were on a one day visit to a spot so lovely we took a chance and spent the night with only our tooth brushes and vitamins in our backpacks and went hiking the next morning to see if we could climb to a very high spot with an old church that is in hundreds of photos. We climbed over an hour on an almost vertical path to the church site and were triumphant in getting shots of the lovely valley below & the river. Instead of climbing back down we continued on the trail, now less steep, for hours past magnificent rock formations like no other we had ever seen, through and over ruins of old castles, past streams and in and out of various kinds of landscape. We were, unknowingly, climbing ever higher and higher. Then we came out to a spot with a rock ledge overlooking a valley. Scared as I am of heights, I went out on the rock to almost the edge and looked down. The other 'high' spot that had been our day's goal was now so far below us that it looked the size of a toy car and the church was a dot. The larger area of the valley and its environs spread out under us. The photo does it some justice but the memory in my mind's eye is far lovelier. You can see some idea of it on the internet by searching for Cesky Raj Czech Republic. But then there are the colored fish I loved when snorkling off the beach in Bahia, Brazil, the Golden Eagle who settled in front of our car in New Mexico, the Hu Tu rock formations in Cappidocia, Turkey. The Harvest Moon rising over the Capital Building in DC. But perhaps it might be the blue bird who I saw from the window that is in front of me just now as she/he settled in the tree just before hopping into our wren house to build her home this winter. What a lovely world God has given us. N. Lively