“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so that you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”
Six Scouts and another adult and myself from Troop 514 in La Grande made a mid July backpack into Minam Meadows/Red’s Horse ranch, an eight and a half mile hike from Moss Springs above Cove, Oregon. We stayed at a cabin constructed in the mid thirties by the father of a member of the Presbyterian Church. The boys, ages 11 to 17. collaborated and cooperated, living the Scout Oath and Law to the fullest I have ever experienced. It was a deep joy to listen to them laugh and share. They repaired a small bridge, hiked, fished, cooked, cleaned Mup, and played a variety of games. This trip created distinct memories of happiness for all of us.
After a sunset that filled my mind and heart, I woke up to this sunrise and early morning scenery near Hat Point in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in the far corner of Wallowa County. Its massive grandeur never ceases to lift one’s spirits.
The sunrise of the Ca’ts Back and the Wallowa Mts. does not need words. The music of the mountains continues to resound in Meg’s and my mind.
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Evocative remoteness summarizes the experience on The “Divide,” or the “Cat’s Back.” Located in a little visited corner of Wallowa County in NE Oregon, it provides some of the most beautiful country you will find anywhere in this nation. In 1885, sisters Daisy and Caroline Wasson came to live there on a homestead established by their parents. High, on an open ridge with spectacular views of the Wallowa and Seven Devils mountains, they spent ten years. Snowed in for six months of the years, they learned to sew from their mother, and do the multi varied tasks that made life bearable in the winter. In the summer, the place was magical. Daisy wrote about those who wondered how/why they could live in such “god forsaken” place: “I have a picture in my mind of Caroline, standing, listening. She has on a little white linen hat and she is holding her walking sticks, and leaning a little forward. I watch her, and then after a little bit ask what she is doing. ‘I hear music,’ she answers, ‘when I am real still and look at the mountains. I hear it.’
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
“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
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