Scouts from Troop 514 left early Saturday for their annual rock climbing weekend at Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake. We knew we would encounter skiffs of snow, but little did we realize we would be breaking trail in close to twelve inches.
We enjoyed true winter camping. The boys adjusted for the conditions, working together to pitch their tents, cook their food, gather firewood and stay warm.
Hoffer Lake was lightly frozen. The late afternoon light created marvelous color tones on the lake. When I awoke Sunday morning after a chilly night, I was grateful to be there, amidst this snow cover beauty, rather than simply sitting in my easy chair at home drinking coffee. Coffee outdoors by the campfire was much better 🙂
Thirteen Scouts, four adults with four rafts enjoyed three days on the Grande Ronde river from June 16 to June 18.. Three of the boats were involved in rescuing a party of five whose boat had flipped . Morgan, Nate, Tim, Caleb, Garren righted the flipped raft and collected floating gear, and helped out a father and son who had landed on a rock near shore,. Nick skillfully maneuvered the second Scout raft while Lucy, Kadyn, Elias pulled a father and two young children out of the river, got them to shore and provided them dry clothes. Eric, James, Devin in the third boat heated up water with a jet boil stove, and furnished food and drink to the the children and father. It was a solid performance by the Scouts. Greg in the lead boat, was ahead of the accident. He had a campsite ready for us when we arrived. David, Alex, Kyler, and Eli had walked up stream and alerted us where to land, and helped pull us in.
Jesus “rebuked” the wind and sea by saying, “peace, be still.” Mark 4:35—41. Christ Jesus, rebuke the storms in my life. Command my worries and anxieties to be still, and grant me your peace. Make be willing to be yoked with you and let you be the one to do the heavy lifting, the hard pulling as I give you my life freely and fully.
“The Presence of the Lord was at my side and I could live with trust, not fear, again.” Psalm 118:6, from Ancient Songs Sung Anew
We have experienced a deep and long winter here in our Grande Ronde Valley–wind and snow have closed many roads, snow is piled deep, both from blowing and from drifting. However, when the wind stops and the sun comes out, there is nothing more beautiful than the snow covered fields, trees, and mountains. It is the epitome of beauty.
Look up, you whose eyes are fixed on this earth, you who are captivated by the events and changes on the surface of this earth. Look up, you who have turned away from heaven to this ground because you had become disillusioned. Look up, you whose eyes are laden with tears, you who mourn the loss of all the earth has snatched away.
The battle is not lost, the victory is yours—take courage, be strong. There is no room here for shaking your heads and doubting, because Christ is coming.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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.
I love the references in Isaiah 12, John 7, and Revelation 7 to living water. When I backpack, water is the most critical weight I carry. Without it, I could die, without enough, my face becomes hot and flushed and my movement labored. In the parched lands of the Bible, water is one of the most frequent and vivid metaphors. When you know you are going to die without it, as the Israelites felt they were when they confronted God through Moses at Massah and Mariah in Exodus 17, you become desperate and demanding and non trusting.
We live through the water we drink. Yet the Old and New Testament are filled with references to “living water,” a source of eternal life that comes only from God and quenches our bodily thirst forever. We find it spiritually as we accept God’s Presence to sustain our souls with the Holy Spirit. And someday, no longer separated from Him by our earthly bodies, we will be sustained eternally.
With joy you will drink deeply
from the fountain of salvation!
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37, 38
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.