“The Good Life”

In a few hours I will begin a journey that will take me out west to the Chihuahuan desert.  This desert region is found mostly in Mexico but does extend into southern New Mexico and Texas.  The only section of this desert that I’ve visited before was at White Sands National Monument.  I am looking forward to getting to explore other portions of it as I photograph Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend National Park.

While doing some preparatory reading for this adventure I picked up John A. Murray’s book, Cactus Country.  Here I found these words: “Like any desert, the Chihuahuan has much to teach us about nature and life, especially the good life.  It is a place to get outside of time for awhile, to listen to the song of oriole and the breeze in cottonwood leaves, to watch the sun rise and the sun set, to look up at the distant stars in renewed wonder.”

I agree with Murray that the desert, along with other ecosystems, has much to teach us about nature and life, “especially the good life.”  I don’t know for sure what Murray meant by “good life” but for me it is the life God meant for us when He created the world.  I believe that the Creator put the world together in such a way that we can, if we pay attention, learn much about life and how it is meant to be lived.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been reading from the Book of Proverbs before going to bed at night.  Numerous times in this wonderful collection of wisdom the writer discerns lessons from the natural world.  In Proverbs 30 alone the biblical writer makes references to the earth’s winds and waters, its land and fire.  Further references are made in this chapter to ravens and vultures, eagles, snakes, badgers, locusts, lizards, lions, roosters, and goats.  Even the lowly ant is mentioned as an example of something small, but wise, since ants “store up their food in the summer.” (v. 25)

I encourage you to learn about nature and life, especially the good life, from your surroundings.  People have been doing so since the beginning of time.  I know school will soon be getting out for a lot of folks but maybe it’s time for some of us to just begin.  May we all be open to learning what we can about the “good life” through the Scriptures and God’s “other book.”


(I took the two images above at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico.)