Oct 30 2011

I’m In a Hurry and Don’t Know Why

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in eastern Kentucky.  I spent a couple of hours photographing the gorgeous fall foliage along Highway 23 in Pike and Letcher County.   I wouldn’t call this autumn a great year for foliage but there certainly are a number of beautiful spots, as you can see from the pictures I’ve included here.  One of the things that intrigued me yesterday while I was standing on the side of the road was how no one else stopped and looked.  People were zooming by at breakneck speed.  I wondered if they even noticed the incredible beauty that was there on both sides of the highway.  Several years ago the country group Alabama had a song which repeated the words “I’m in a hurry and don’t know why” several times.  It would seem that could be our world’s theme song.  Yes, we all seem to be in a hurry and I’m not sure we even know why. 

I have no doubt that our hurriedness is causing us to miss a lot of wonderful blessings.  There’s no way the people who drove by me yesterday going 60 miles per hour could have seen the things I did when I stopped my car and got out to look.  In fact, even after I stopped and looked things over it took me a while to see some of the compositions I ended up photographing.  Being in a hurry is not conducive to good photography; nor is it good for seeing and experiencing God’s blessings in Creation and the rest of our lives.   Somehow, someway, we have got to learn to slow down. 

As you read the Gospels you get the impression that Jesus never got in a hurry.  There were a number of occasions when people tried to get him to do certain things and he either refused or said it wasn’t time yet.  Jesus definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer.  He did not let the world dictate his pace.  Instead, he let his heavenly Father do that.

I may do a decent job of slowing down to capture beautiful images with my camera but in other areas of my life I am doing far too much rushing.  I multitask far more than I should and I hurry to and fro when there’s really no reason to.  Like many other people I need to slow down.  I need to quit letting the world dictate my pace and listen more closely for the beat of the Creator’s drum.  How about you?


Jul 21 2010

A Package Deal

flood 443eThere are definitely two sides to nature.  I tend to focus on the beautiful and inspirational side but there can be no denying that there is also a harsh and destructive side as well.  The recent flood here in Pike County has forced me to look at the destructive side.

Yesterday I had a chance to visit and photograph some of the areas hardest hit by Saturday’s flash floods.  There were numerous scenes, like the one pictured above, that revealed just what a powerful force nature can be.  I saw many homes and vehicles that were destroyed by the raging water.  I am utterly amazed that so few people died as a result of this storm.

Despite all of the devastation I hesitate to refer to nature’s fury as being bad or evil.  It simply is what it is.  The powerful forces of nature (floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, etc.) have existed from the beginning of Creation.  They have also helped shape and form the beauty of the landscapes we enjoy so much.   In times of crisis it’s hard to admit but the truth is you cannot have the beautiful and inspirational side of nature without the harsh and destructive side as well.  It’s a package deal.

magnolia 075This morning I spent quite a bit of time dealing with flood relief issues. While driving home for lunch I was feeling stressed and burdened for those who are suffering.  As I pulled up in my driveway I noticed several new beautiful magnolia blossoms on the tree next to our house.  I got my camera and photographed the image you see here.  This gorgeous white flower seemed quite a contrast to the scenes I photographed yesterday. 

The apostle Paul once wrote, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18)  I don’t think Paul meant we’re supposed to give thanks for bad things that happen to us but that no matter what comes our way we should maintain an attitude of thanksgiving.  Even in tough times there is always much to be grateful for.

 I cannot give thanks for the devastation Saturday’s flood caused but it certainly doesn’t stop me from offering thanks today for God’s gift of Creation.  Nor does it keep me from affirming, as God did over and over again in Genesis 1, the goodness of Creation.  Once again, it is a package deal and I remain thankful for the package.


Jul 18 2010

Through the Floods

flood 037If you’ve read or watched the national news today you may have seen stories about the flash floods that hit Pike County, Kentucky, last night.  I got to witness these floods firsthand—in my front yard!  The bridge that leads to my house was washed away and water came very close to getting into our house.  It was a frightening experience!

From time to time nature does, in fact, remind us of its incredible power.  When it does it can be a humbling experience.  Tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods have a way of showing us humans that we are not in control.  Far from it!

Although I do not believe that God directly sends natural disasters, I do believe that we see in nature’s power a reflection of God’s  even greater might and strength.  I also believe that He can use natural disasters to remind us of how small we are and just how much we need Him. 

Last night I could only stand helpless and watch the destruction unfold in front of me.  I knew, however, that I was not alone.  In fact, I was reminded of a scripture passage I had read just a few days ago.  In Isaiah 43:2 God says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”  I also recall Jesus’ promise, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20)  It is my strong conviction that God is always with us, come what may.

Does that mean we will never suffer loss from natural disasters?  Not hardly.  Several in my county lost much last night.  Does it mean that death is not possible when storms or earthquakes come our way?  Once again, not at all.  At least two people died here last night.  But what I do believe is that though we might suffer loss, or perhaps even death, God is still there to see us through.  His power is greater than any flood or earthquake.  His power is greater than death. 

Whenever I see the awesome power of nature I am not only humbled but led to praise the God who created nature and who has promised to always be with us.  He truly is an awesome God!


flood 046

(The top picture was taken from my neighbor’s yard.  The bottom picture was taken from my front porch.)