Zion’s angel landing and the narrows are awesome. But in my humble opinion Moab is KING! Dead Horse point, Canyonlands, and of course Arches are easily within reach of this magical town.
Our last visit to Arches National Park, and Moab was a red-eye flight, drive, crawl, 10 pots of coffee and a fist full of trucker pills frenzy. Now on the open road we’re taking our time to connect with our spirit animals and balance our chi. Just kidding I can’t even spell “meeditaation”!
Still a bit chilled from a day of rafting, we laughed while tipping back some Moab brew. Only a few years ago Lauren had never flown, I had no clue how to use a camera, and we were lost in the Middle American/ Home Improvement / Consumer lifestyle. Yet here we were on the open road, capturing sunrises, (Chasing Light) and living like gypsies.
Through two deserts, atop a few mountains, and within countless valleys we’d laughed and a few times cried. Some days I felt bullet proof………Most days I questioned my sanity . At the cost of security and comforts those seeking Truth have often sought the wilderness. . And although I’m not worthy to tie the sandals of such greatness, I will say this trip changed me in ways I’d never anticipated.
Few of us see the sunrise or set, we’ve traded our time (our lives) for things. Long hours ransomed for routine and safety. The comforts and security of schedules, electric lights, climate control, and a reasonably stocked refrigerator leaves us wanting for little, but lacking for much! We’ve “mastered” our environment, but in doing so lost the daily reminder of our fragile existence.
These thoughts rattled in my mind, answering my phone and telling a friend we’d spent the last two months living on the road. There was a long pause. “You finally did it! You’re crazy, really…..good for you!”
Most people thought we were crazy. Others acted as if we were folk heroes. Living out of a van doesn’t qualify you for the Justice League! To be honest, I wasn’t being brave, I was running. Miserable and frustrated every morning I’d look in the mirror wondering how long another home renovation, kayak race, event, skydive, or holiday trip would hold back the overwhelming discontentment. Something was missing. The answer to a question I didn’t know how to ask !
The comforts and securities defining “civilized society” don’t give us charge of our lives. If anything we have submitted to servitude. A bondage to debt, possession, social opinions, expectations, self imposed slaves to time clocks. Trading the days of our lives for the ease of processed foods, and climate controlled concrete jungles. A zoo filled with monkeys wearing suits and ties. Trapped, pacing in a cubicle, yet convinced a new car, a bigger house, or retirement will equate freedom.
It’s said that “eternity is the hearts of men“. There must be more. In a place like Canyon Lands National Park you could hike to the horizon and continue for weeks. The mass expanse of exquisite harsh terrain ever reminding that we are a speck in this giant equation. Standing before Arches huge red rock formations I am finite in stature, understanding and years. Sit and feel the cool soil, from it we came and to it we will return.
Though we boast of our buildings and structures time will conquer them. The word humility comes from the Latin humus ( from the soil). I’d encourage you to touch the soil, listen to wilderness sing, feel nature breath. Raft the river and be taken by its power. These waters have cut canyons for millennia, and will be running long after we’ve been forgotten. Sit beneath the night sky, count the stars, cuddle next to the fire, and remember that we are not long for this world.
Stop living like your getting out of this alive!
As always, if your new to our community. This is the end of the after school special! Below this line there are no pictures, gentle words, or apologizes. Stop while your ahead!
What follows is my personal experience with North American “christian church”. Where you may read anger there is only regret, and sadness. These words have been written and rewritten more times than I could count. Pressing the publish button I can’t take this back, but I can move forward!
As a young vocational minister I was infatuated with the systems and structure of religion. If I wasn’t in an airport or on a bus in a foreign country I was in a youth room, a summer camp facility, or behind a pulpit. Living for religion, systems, rules, and doctrine, left me broken and alone; barely surviving the darkest time of my life. Who needed a blow hard, pompous, arrogant, wordy, action-less, dead or dying, Western-business-model, hypocritical, temple of self-worship?
Over the years I visited a few churches, it was painful watching people in Sunday morning fake mode. You know its ok to be broken, that’s the point of the Gospel. Below the cardigan Mr.. Rogers was a Vietnam sniper covered in tattoos. PS. I’m previously divorced, make wine, beer, and smoke cigars. I have some pretty cool tattoos, and lots of friends who think any and all organized religion is the worst. As a follower of Christ, I might add its hard to argue the “value” of the crusades, the church hosting KKK meetings, the frauds, mega churches, giant buildings, scam faith healing, material waste, lack of social concern, hate speeches, and the general “christian” sense of superiority.
Now that you’re angry could I ask a favor? If you use the titles Atheist or Agnostic in a whisper as if it were the definition of pure evil, please ask yourself why!
There are plenty of NON-CHRISTIANS who are intelligent moral people heavily involved in humanitarian work. Many of them have read the Bible and other religious text. Although most “christians” have never read the bible cover to cover. Perhaps if you had you would be a bit kinder, forgiving, gracious, and loving. It may not be the teachings of Jesus that others find offensive. #Gandhi
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Separated from formal system, affiliation, or infrastructure, nature became my sanctuary. When Lauren and I got married we hiked into the woods. Chased sunrises, listened to waterfalls, felt the breeze, and slept under the stars. We planted and grew a vineyard, learned to make wine. I began to see God as the creator and sustainer of yeast, microbes, and the expanses of space. Gradually healing and Faith have overcame anger and distain.
And then came this blog. A tiny voice in the wilderness. From this wee platform I’d fumble to share our experience, but mostly love people. If you’ll excuse the pun my photography “developed” from this. I’d give it away, for the opportunity to share what I saw as <An Authentic View Of God>. Not a forced systematic, formulated, manipulative (TURN OR BURN) tactic. A heartfelt honest, LOVE STORY!
I say this as a follower of Jesus, to those who call themselves “christian”. If you don’t have a few friend with different beliefs, hang out with people of all ages, races, backgrounds, listen to and respect people, love those who are different, you may be living out of the wrong book. The religious leaders of his day often accused Jesus of “eating and drinking with sinners”. I love this, because that means I qualify for a table!
Not all church buildings are filled with fake people. If you love Christ be His Disciple. Like Him, live a little, step outside of the (church) echo bubble. Push beyond the religion and doctrines! Go Forth, chase the wind, dance in the rain, listen to the thunder in the distance. Share campfires with people who believe differently than you. Become part of their story, and eat a meal. For the love of Christ literally GO BE THE CHRUCH! #RepurposedPhrase #YouStealMineItsOnlyFair
THIS IS A LOVE STORY
(NONE OF US ARE GETTIN OUT OF THIS ALIVE)
And that’s exciting
Delicate arch is the top of most peoples list. Yet unlike most National Parks famous formations Delicate requires a little hiking. It’s always nice to work for it a little. Delicate Arch is breathtaking if you can look past the herds of sheepeople taking smart phone selfies. I say this having taken a few selfies with Delicate!