Sunday, March 21, 2010

Da nort-land

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go on an impromptu camping trip up to Lake Maria State Park (outside of Monticello, MN).  I packed quickly, grabbed my tent and bag and headed north.  When I got there the office was closed, so I self-registered through the mail slot for a backpack site not too far from a parking space.  Unfortunately, the site was taken.  Reluctantly, I hiked to the north side of the park up Anderson hill to find the next available site.  This was the best mistake I have made in months.  The site was gorgeous--I was up on a hill overlooking one of MN's 10,000 lakes.  An eagle flew over. I didn't have a camera, so I did some quick, photo-realistic sketches.  It looked like this, only less fish like and more majestic:

I set up camp, started a fire, and just hung out.  Usually I try to spiritualize everything by forcing myself to read or journal excessively, but this time I just enjoyed being outdoors.  This was a great idea.  God is actually easier to notice when you don't strain so hard to see Him.

Before I headed to bed, I heard something large trying to walk on the ice by my camp.  It kept breaking through as it walked, so I assume it was not a giant raccoon, or opossum.  Maybe it was a bear, or a disgruntled snowmobiler.  This is what I imagine it looked like:

I slept well, got up at 5:30am, and made coffee in the Mocha Pot (using my new hand grinder!).  It was ideal.  After I packed up my gear and the tent, I headed out as the sun began to rise.  As I crunched through the leaves on the trail, I heard a ton of loud turkeys.  I would assume that turkeys have trouble with self-confidence, but these turkeys were very secure.  It was at this point that I heard an animal scream.  Was it a panther?  I don't know.  Perhaps it was just that eagle, or an enormous fox.  If it was a panther, it probably looked like this:

As I stood on the trail and just listened, I felt as though God was reminding me that I was not the point of creation.  I was a part of it.  I should be happy that He stills loves me, and chose to use me despite my history.  We can't be proud of our accomplishments, because those are His.  Like He said in Luke 17,
"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "
 As a servant, I should be excited that I have someone to serve.  My accomplishments are for His purpose, not my own.  It is easy to feel very large and important when you live indoors.  The world seems to revolve around your wants and efforts.  But reality in God's world is very different.

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