Monday, June 16, 2008
Is it me or has the stress factor in life increased several notches lately? Everyone I know seems to be enduring a plethora of challenges. Our family has been hit with a variety of unpleasant trials in recent months, including the untimely death of a loved one.
Whenever I'm feeling a bit down, it helps to have what I call a "water moment." I find that I'm drawn to water. I'm not sure why, but water has always fascinated me. [No cheap shots about how easily entertained I seem to be ;) ]
I especially like waterfalls, which is why you'll probably see a lot of those posted in this blog from time to time. During my high school years, we lived in a beautiful area close to Island Park, in a little town called Ashton, Idaho. Ashton is often referred to as a gateway to Yellowstone Park, since West Yellowstone is only 43 miles north of this small town. In the towering hills above Ashton, two spectacular waterfalls exist. They are called Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.
I've always been partial to the Upper Falls. I've often sat quietly watching the water as it tumbles below. The sound of rushing water is calming. The atmosphere is inspiring. It is a place of peace. (Unless you happen to stop by when a tour bus hits the area. During those adventures, it's still inspiring, just a bit noisy.)
I've found other such places wherever I've lived. To me it's crucial to spend some time basking in the beauty that our Father in heaven created for us to enjoy. When worries descend and I feel bogged down in life, it's time for a water moment. A time for quiet reflection as I sit near a bubbling creek, an impressive lake, or a waterfall. These experiences help me sort through a myriad of troubling thoughts, heartache, and sometimes life in general. I think it's important to find a place where you can quietly meditate and draw closer to God through silent prayer and reflection.
It doesn't have to be far from home, and since we're all different, a variety of beautiful options lie in wait wherever you live. Since I live close to the mountains that lie behind Bennington, it only takes me a few minutes to arrive at tiny stream or pond. If it's a particularly bad day, I will sometimes drive thirty minutes to spend some time pondering life's mysteries near the famed Bear Lake.
These moments always seem to help. I come away feeling better, which I think counts for a lot these days. Try this sometime, when a bad day hits. Spend some time enjoying nature. I think you'll be surprised at the healing that can take place when we stop to savor the beauty our Father made certain was included in this mortal realm.
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