2017: Page 96

Page 96 was a travel day.  It marked the end of our family spring break getaway, but that didn’t keep us from making the most of it.  The day began with rain, but early on our drive the rain gave way to some beautiful layers of clouds with patches of blue sky.  Our drive home would take us by a few areas of interest, so I left the course mapped out by my GPS only to have it constantly tell me to turn around when possible.  After adding a potential stop to see some covered bridges, the GPS was satisfied with the route I had chosen and the constant reminders to change course stopped.  As we drove, the beautiful sky gradually turned back to gray.  I began noticing all of the rivers and streams we passed were very full, so I changed our stopover destination to some waterfalls instead of the covered bridges.  

When we stopped, the light rain had resumed but the air temperature was still fairly warm.  Rainy days when photographing waterfalls have at least two advantages over warm, sunny days — more water flowing over the falls and fewer people that end up in the photos.  This stop at Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio didn’t disappoint.  The parking lot was nearly deserted and there were virtually no issues with having to wait for people to move away from the falls only to have them replaced by others.  It was nice to be able to enjoy the peaceful beauty with a sense that we were all alone with God in such a remarkable place.  We did cross paths with people occasionally and one of them said that the day before, which had been sunny and warm, the place was packed solid with people sightseeing.  The final waterfall we stopped at had a paved path so Susan could ride to the falls, but the others were down rugged trails and/or many steps so MJ and I took turns going down to photograph the waterfalls.  

While we could have stayed there much longer, we knew that the journey home needed to continue.  As we headed toward home, the intensity of the wind picked up and the journey included times of driving rain.  When we left West Virginia in the morning, the distance to empty showing on my truck computer and the distance to home showing on my GPS indicated I could make it home with about 40 miles to spare on a tank of fuel.  Our waterfall stop changed that to about 20 miles to spare but as I drove into the wind, that cushion kept decreasing until by the time I made it to Indiana it was showing I would be at least 30 miles short.  As we crossed into Indiana, the rain stopped and a line of reddish-pink began to show on the western horizon.  As the clouds lifted and moved eastward, the sky before us unfolded into a beautiful sunset.  While the wind was still fairly strong, it was fun driving the final two hours home into the beauty that God was putting on display.  As we neared the house, there was an unusual darkness in our neighborhood.  As we pulled into our driveway, it became clear that what I suspected was true — our electricity was out.  As we got out of the truck, the surrounding darkness made the sky above even more brilliant as the light from the moon and stars shone down upon us.  Today’s photo is of the moon that was shining in the night sky.  With the power out and it being late, we unloaded the truck and headed to bed.  

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • The way a day begins isn’t necessarily the way it will end.  You have to live it in order to see it.
  • Plans are good.  Sometimes adjusting those plans in light of the circumstances around us is even better.
  • If you don’t know where you are going, you probably won’t get good directions.
  • Many people choose to ignore the directions that God gives in His Word, yet complain about where they end up.
  • If our path is aligned with God’s directions, the journey becomes simply a matter of following and enjoying.
  • God doesn’t force us to follow His directions but He will continually remind us that we are off course when we stray.  It is still our choice in what we do about those reminders.
  • Sometimes the journey home takes more effort and energy than expected.  Keep pressing on.
  • Watch for the evidences of God and you will surely see them.