So I figured it was time for another post! I have been reflecting a lot on some of the amazing lanscapes I have been lucky enough to travel and see.
For those of you who don’t know, I was blessed and awarded with a scholarship by the Royal Geographical Society to undertake a gap year in 2010. I did not have all the finances in the world. I was an 18 year old girl travelling alone so I had to take precautions. So I had a budget and decided for my first experience of exploring the ‘big wide world’ on my own, I’d head too the US of A. Although the USA is not the first choice for the majority of gap year travellers… (I mean the world is a big place with lots to do, why go to America when you could be in Fiji, Asia, South America, Africa… etc etc etc?)… it was perfect for me as it was English speaking, I had contacts and I had experience with America as I lived there when I was younger. It was like greeting an old friend.
Anyways, whilst travelling I was seeing some of the most incredible sights on the planet. Instead of me just telling you about it, let me show you. Let’s start with one that everyone is familar with and I know many would love to see at some point in their lives. Hopefully by the end of this post I would encourage you to see less familar sites too!
Grand Canyon National Park
What an amazing view. It is definately something to behold. I felt so in awe of the majesty of the landscape. You try and mentally capture images in your mind when you visit places; scents, sounds, the exact feeling you had when you first set eyes on something as wonderful as this. Nothing can quite prepare you for the beauty around you. I remember just thinking ‘wow’ a lot and kept glancing slowly left to right, up and down at every inch of what I was seeing. This blog post is not going to inform you of all I did there, but I just want you to realise just how mesmerised I was at each of the places I am going to share with you.
Monument Valley was probably one of my most favourite places to visit. A picture speaks 1,000 words and I have 2, so I don’t think I need to go on. However, I loved how still and quiet this place was. It was so peaceful. The Navajo Indian’s are blessed to live in such a calm environment (although the history to fight for this land was not as pleasant as it is today). God intends us all to have some time to chill out. He rested on the 7th day. It doesn’t matter when we rest, but it is so vitally important that we do. Our bodies need it and just being still and quiet to just reflect on how awesome God is. I spent a lot of time with nature and thinking how small I am in comparison to the rest of the universe but how important and valued I am in God’s eyes. He was smiling down on me as I got the chance to explore His beautiful creation.
Mount St. Helens
I have been fortunate enough to have visited this volcano twice. Once when I was about 12 and we visited friends. And the other time was 2010, visiting the same friends! It was fascinating to see that there was so much more vegetation surrounding landscape around Mt.St Helens the second time round. In the 1980s this volcano erupted and wiped out all of its surroundings under layers of ash and blasted the immediate zone around the volcano. So much was destroyed. However, it pleases me to see how the environment is balancing itself out again and replenishing what was lost.
I want to mention my own thoughts in comparing the landscape with us as people. No matter how damaged, hurt, broken and/or lost we are, God can help restore us; make us new and fill us with hope. He wants us to have that relationship with Him so we can be like the vegetation that has re-grown after being through the fire; like the calm centre in the middle of the storm of a hurricane; like the freshness of spring after a bitter winter. No matter what trials we go through, God is there. He is like the friend we want if we were running a race! He is encouraging us before the race, reassuring us and being a firm support. Then when we start running, God is there, running alongside us. Cheering us on. But he is also at the end, waiting for us. Waiting if we win or lose. Then reaching out His hand to show how much He loves us, no matter what the outcome. Nothing we do surprises God. He is in our present, but He is right there waiting for us in our future. He knows what was, what is and what is to come.
Glacier National Park
This was probably my most favourite picture from all 3,000+ that I had taken. It was truly mesmorizing. The landscape isn’t half bad either! Just kidding. I loved visiting this National Park because I am interested in glaciers and glacial retreat and there was so much information about it at the centre we visited. I love this photo because of how the mountains and the terrain stretch up so high, but are wonderfully mirrored to the lake beneath. There is an excellent quote in Forrest Gump when he says: “I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the earth began.” That quote summarised my feelings when looking at this scenery. Wow. Just wow.
There were many times when I was travelling that I would be walking and talking to God. Thanking Him constantly for blessing me with such an amazing opportunity, but just thanking Him also for the wonders of nature. We are surrounded by God’s glory if we only care to open our eyes and see it. You don’t need a plane ticket to go to some remote location to see it. It’s right on your doorstep. Insects, birds, animals, trees, the sky, the stars at night, the sea. The list is neverending if you care to dig a little deeper. When I was on my own overseas, I prayed more and spent more quality time with God than I had ever done before. It was because I was surrounded by so many places that reflected just how awesome He is and I had to rely on Him alone as it was just me, myself and I. I cast all my worries and anxieties on Him. I thanked Him for just being an incredible God. It’s amazing how God can speak to people’s hearts. The landscape is a great place to start. Take people out of the equation. Go somewhere and just be still and know that there is a God. He is right by your side if only you seek him.
Matthew Ch 7: 7-8 says: 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’
I know that there are many interpretations of bible verses, however, I feel that these particular verses demonstrate that if we ask for God and seek God out, He will open the door for us. And the bottom line is, He loves YOU!
I leave you with a song from the Bruce Almighty soundtrack. Check out the lyrics on the video. It’s the summary of this post.
Take care and God Bless my wonderful readers!
Love from Ruthie -xxxxxxxxxxxxx- 🙂