“Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognize your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for times your love has been shown to me through the care of others.”
I do need to renew my confidence in God’s Presence on a continual basis. I have full confidence that He showed his Love, Mercy, Compassion and Justice through His Son, Jesus Christ. Yet, like all of us, I wish I did not have to wait to see this mercy and justice distinctly happen in all troubled parts of the world, in all troubled heart.. Ultimately, all I can do is share my love and compassion with others—and recognize the faith of Psalmist, the faith I must maintain, “wait upon the Lord.” And while doing so, serve others.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Trails in the White Mountains reflect the toughness of their New England forebears–granite rocks, web like roots, straight up, unswerving direction. The switch backs of the West, with their overall smoothness, are a delightful luxury after the trail challenges here. Meg and I enjoyed a hike up Mt Osceola led by son, Michael, last Saturday. It took a while to adjust to difficulties, but by the end, we were ready to come back another time.
Meg and I enjoyed Acadia National Park at the height of fall colors. Shaped by fire, heat, water, and ice, the land is an exquisite tapestry of geologic features formed over five hundred million years ago. A vacation land for the well to do in the early twentieth century, Acadia was recognized as a place for all to enjoy. The National Park was established in 1919. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. planned and donated an extensive carriage road system, which is still actively used today for hikers, bikers, and even carriage riders.
Another tradition that still exists from Acadia’s earliest years are popovers and strawberry jam at the restaurant on Jordan Pond, Jordan Pond itself is a pristine water source that provides water to the park, and offers a wonderful trail around it.
There is no steeper trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness than the one my long time hiking partner, Bob, and I took this backpack trip the last Thursday/Friday of September. Three thousand feet up in three miles! The trail to the Legore mine and the meadow above is as close to straight up as a trail can be. I had done it several times in my fifties, but at 73, with a backpack, it is much, much steeper than I remembered. What had seemed an easy ascent–and descent (going down was more treacherous than going up)–twenty years ago, was far different now.
We did 1500 feet up to Sawtooth Peak Friday morning. We saw both big horn sheep and mountain goats. Then we headed back down to camp, packed up and dropped the 3000 feet to the trailhead. (Lots of elevation for one day) I was as tired as I have ever been, but still exhilarated by what we accomplished!
Hurricane Creek. Falls Creek. Eagle Cap Wilderness
The Falls Creek trail is steep
Where we camped above the Legore mine
Hiking up the gully to the bowl below Sawtooth Peak
I enjoyed a Friday overnight stay at our shared cabin at Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon. Kokanee, a landlocked salmon, are running in the Wallowa River above the lake. Their redish colors are mirrored in the beaufiful fall maple leaves in downtown Joseph. The air was fresh and clear early Saturday morning, a great befinning of the fall.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” Psalm 91:1,2
“Do I look at my life as being in my Father’s house? The only abiding reality is God Himself….I must learn to live every moment in my Father’s house.” Oswald Chambers
When my thought life is focused on His shelter, His house, and not my fantasies or memories. I find I live much more fully in the NOW of His presence and protection. That is where I find peace, not in the variability of my “feelings.”
This is the time of year Troop 514 heads up the alpine country above Anthony Lake. We go up on Saturday via a long hike, set up tents, cook, and then rock climb on Sunday. This year, the rain forced us to cancel the climbing, but the boys tested their skills and fortitude in the rain. They were not as well prepared as we had warned them to be, so it ws an excellent learning exprerience. Most importantly, they stayed “cheerful”, one of the requisites of the Scout Law.
As the winds of the political environment pull us back and forth, Henri nouwen provides some wise words.
“How can we not lose our souls when everything and everybody pulls us in the most different directions? How can we “keep it together” when we are constantly torn apart?
“Jesus says: “Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives” (Luke 21:18-19). We can only survive our world when we trust that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We can only keep it together when we believe that God holds us together. We can only win our lives when we remain faithful to the truth that every little part of us, yes, every hair, is completely safe in the divine embrace of our Lord. To say it differently: When we keep living a spiritual life, we have nothing to be afraid of.” Henri Nouwen
Embraced by memories of mountain air, sounds of the river, and visions of green meadows filled with wildflowers beneath alpine peaks, I loaded La Grande Troop 514 Scouts into the car to travel to the trailhead that leads up the East Fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The trail requires more effort than earlier years, but the challenge makes the time and beauty all the more meaningful. I am blessed to live so close to such a special place and still have the legs to hike, albeit at a slower pace. And it was particularly fun to backpack with these older scouts who could carry more weight and prepare a gourmet dinner and breakfast—despite the mosquitoes!