A whopping 3 hours of sleep:
That was how we greeted Sunday, our first full day in Alaska.
Sleepy and a little blurry-eyed we awoke to clouds and cold rain for the sight seeing adventures ahead. Undaunted, we started the day right at a local mega church called Change Point Alaska.
The church was very welcoming and we all really enjoyed the pastor's teaching.
I struck up a conversation with a nice lady who sat in front of us before service started. Born and raised in Alaska, she welcomes the opportunity to share information about her home and was interested to know about the sights we intended to see that day, as well as our mission in days to come.
As I told her about our anticipation in seeing more of the beauty around us today and in our travels even further north Monday, she mentioned that she has family that lives along one of the routes we would be traveling and how she travels it often.
But it was her next statement that caught my attention and would ring in the ears of my spirit throughout the day. She said,
"We travel that so much that I don't even see the mountains anymore, ya know?"
Hours later, we headed south of Anchorage on Seward Hwy to Portage, a very scenic highway that travels along the Turnagain Arm, mountains to your left, sea to your right.
Translation: STUNNING BEAUTY!
My camera was smokin' from all the pics I was snapping!
We may have just stopped at every scenic pull off available!
And heads that had been nodding, heavy eyelids knocking on the door of slumber, were now wide awake seeking to take it all in!
A little later, we happened up on the Alaska Wildlife Reserve and decided to take the two mile loop to see moose, bears, bison, caribou, bald eagles and more! The picturesque scenery with these amazing animals resulted in some great photo ops!
Then came the most astounding adventure of the day: a 0.8 mile walk out to the Bryson Glacier.
To attempt to describe the absolute breathtaking beauty would be a travesty on my part.
It was almost too much for my eyes to behold!
I, yes I, was speechless!
as we wondered at the snow capped peaks and glacier looming before us, the lady's voice echoed within me volumes above our oohs and ahhs:
"...I don't even see the mountains anymore..."
I questioned constantly in my mind...
How can you NOT see this?
How can THIS become commonplace?
How do you lose the sense of awe and wonder?
And the Lord spoke softly in the peace of this creation, HIS creation, and said,
"It may not be mountain majesty, it may not be rushing glacier waters, but you,too, miss me all around you every day."
And I know deep inside He is right.
I allow what my God calls beautiful to fade into the common every day.
I miss the opportunities for Him to wake me from the blurry-eyed trance of the world and see the wonder of His creation, His created, all around me.
I become numb to the chances available to me to engage in this beauty, this part of life that revives and renews and rejuvenates...that propels me into His abundance of living.
How do I get to this place where I let myself to become immune to His majesty?
Blind to His greatness?
Deaf to His voice?
Apathetic towards His created ones?
I know Him. I mean I KNOW Him.
I find myself, like the lady, more concerned with where I am going than where God has me right NOW.
And I miss Him in THIS moment.
And because of that, someone else may miss Him through me.
What I have seen of my God, what I know of my God...that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
I can never get to the end of God.
There is always more breathtaking revelations He longs to display before me, to sprawl out in beauty for me to experience...
And I sit nodding, eyelids heavy with the weight of world...
And I don't even realize I'm not seeking out and soaking up His mountainous grandeur anymore.
Pull over, take your eyes off the highway, allow His Spirit to wake you from the world's slumber and deceiving lullabies...
Life, real life,
in God portioned abundance are positioned all around you.
And they will leave you speechless.
Then we can live out loud that old truth, words we mutter in song:
"I was blind...but now I see."
Awake our souls to the work of Your hands this week, this day, Lord!
Awake my soul...and sing!
"I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you."
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
"'So-who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?', says The Holy. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this?...
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired or pause to catch His breath.
And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to the dropouts...But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind."
Isaiah 40:25-31 The Message