Although Hells Canyon is a formidable barrier between Oregon and Idaho, extremely hot and dry in the summer, beautiful wildflowers bloom in the spring along the Snake River, and on the high benches. Heavenly is a much better way to describe it. I have day hiked the McGraw section for the last five years. It is a wonderful way to be reminded of His Creation!
“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), NOT, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I recently returned from the high benches above the Snake River in Hells Canyon. The wildflowers are always remarkable as they briefly burst forth. I never know how many there will be, nor how long they will bloom before they fade. However, I do know, they will be there; that I will be surprised, and that I am always with God.
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting–a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it is as a cup of blessing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I am yours for all eternity. I am the Alpha and the Omega; the one who is and was and is to come. The world you inhabit is one of constant change—more than your mind can absorb without going into shock. Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly, in spite of modern science’s attempts to prolong life and youth indefinitely. I, however, am the same yesterday and today and forever.
Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock solid foundation for your life. I will never leave your side. When you move on from this life to the next, My Presence beside you will shine brighter with each step. You have nothing to fear, because I am with you for all time and throughout eternity.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever. Psalm 102:25-27
My hiking partner, Bob, and I spent a delightful time in the high Wallowas, far from the “madding crowds.” A ten mile hike and 4000 foot elevation gain to us to the tundra country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, where its short spring was just arriving. We have been here before, but it was the first time we caught it at the peak of its wildflowers.
Meg and I enjoyed our annual trip camping trip high above Hells Canyon, near Hat Point in Wallowa County. The Seven Devils mountains in Idaho rise above the Snake River, making Hells Canyon the deepest gorge in the US. The view is one of those “million dollar” experiences.. If this were private property accessible by an easy road, a five star resort would be perched here, hosting hundreds of people a day.. Instead, amidst gorgeous wildflowers, skies and clouds, science and tranquility, Meg and I rested in these views and feelings alone.
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.
“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it. We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us….Faith tells us that we already have God. The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God in whatever we are doing.” Fr. Thomas Keating.
Fall comes to a close in NE Oregon, from the Grande Ronde Valley to Wallowa Lake. Saturday was overcast, the type of day where normally I would not have gone out with my camera. But we had friends visiting from Hong Kong and we wanted to show them Wallowa Lake. As it turned out, the sky was filled with dramatically defined dark clouds and special subtle shades of light shone through.