Thursday, September 24, 2015

God's Beautiful Country

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple" (Psalm 27:4 NIV).

We have returned from a vacation in northern Arizona and the beauty we experienced there makes me feel anxious to see the beauty God has in store for us in heaven. It will be totally amazing, I'm sure. We started out in Flagstaff and went north to Tuba City the first night, on the Navajo Reservation. It was a lovely drive through scenic valleys and the Black Mesa area then on to the red rocks of the Monument Valley along the Utah border the next day. Many of the old time westerns were filmed in Monument Valley because of its very recognizable land formations in red stone and the wild west desert landscapes. We took a self tour, driving 17 miles on a rough red dirt road, being amazed at how the rocks pop up out of the ground randomly along the way. It was incredible.

Then it was on to Page, Arizona, a small town that is the hub of the Lake Powell area. We hiked to Horseshoe Bend, an area where the Colorado River loops through a canyon creating a remarkable horseshoe shape far below. We toured Antelope Canyon, an area where water has eroded a narrow canyon in brilliantly colored orange and white layered rock. We walked through the canyon reveling in the amazing shapes and forms the rocks have become, in awe of the beauty that the Navajo hold as holy.

We drove along the Vermilion Cliffs, stunningly beautiful red and white variegated stone mountains where the road winds in and out of their stately towers. Then followed another mountain canyon trail that led to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Along one of the meadow areas we were blessed to see a herd of buffalo enjoying a mid-day lunch, calmly enjoying the area, in no hurry to move on. At the Grand Canyon we were amazed by the vastness of the beauty there, with overwhelming views providing perspectives of the greatness below.

All that God has created is beautiful, such an inadequate word for all that we experienced. And what we saw was only a morsel of all that He has made for us to enjoy. Thank you God for creating such diverse beauty to behold. It is everywhere we look; in the fields of corn and beans here in Iowa or the rustic canyons of Arizona. God is good; all the time.

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