Seeing the Wonder-Seattle, Camping and Exploring

A multi-colored leafOnce I was walking with a buddy and his family.  His son was three or four years old at the time and wanted to stop at every little thing to take a look.  The rest of us wanted to keep moving, not look at bugs or flowers.  Quite a difference in the outlook of life.

But I got to thinking how children see the world.  Just sit them in front of Mr. Rogers and they’re spellbound.  They constantly ask questions, and constantly take time to look at the world with curiosity.  Maybe there’s things we could learn from that?

After all Jesus did say we should believe like a child, who has such innocence and wonder.  They’re not cynical about the world like we become when we have to work, pay bills, and manage relationships.  We figure we’ve already seen and learned so much and we move on.

This week was my vacation to Seattle, where I stayed with my brother, checked out bike trails and visited Mars Hill.  Mars Hill was interesting with video preaching and an indie rock worship band.  (Rant: Whatever happened to planting churches and raising up new speakers?  Is a megachurch pastor so good we all have to watch him even at another church on video?   Anyway…)  Kinda cool and different, but I like my charismatic worship back home.

A bike trail in SeattleThe bike paths are incredible with all the bays and boats and hip architecture.  I love Seattle.  It’s not home, but it’s sure fun.  After all where else except Pike Place Market do you see a an awesome banjo player in front of Starbucks?

Somehow the people from Seattle found purpose in creativity that seemed to catch on to society whether it was coffee, software or grunge music.  They somehow found the link between creativity and making money.  It’s worth a trip just for inspiration.

I also went on a retreat out in the Mount Adams area.  Camped out at a little place called Forlorn Lakes where I got a lake to myself.  You might wonder, Josh you have friends now as well as a girlfriend, why do you still go off on adventures by yourself?  Hey, what can I say?  I love living in the city, but sometimes there’s just so much noise, I need time for myself and God.

Sleeping Beauty Mountain was a nice mile uphill hike.  At the summit just above timberline was a great view of the majestic Mount Adams, as well as Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood.  Not near as hard as the Mount Saint Helens climb a couple months ago, but a major workout and very rewarding.

Me at Sleeping Beauty Summit with Mount Adams in the background

Mount Saint Helens

Mount Hood

Natural bridgeThe next day I explored the natural bridges and the ice cave.  Wow, nature still impresses me.  While there were no goblins or gems or magic swords in the alcoves of caves like in computer games, it was still awesome.  I got to thinking about how when we grow up we go through life missing the wonder.

Wonder is a characteristic that has to be taken care of just like knowledge or social skills or being in shape.  It’s a must for photographers who would sometimes spend hours at a site just to catch the right shot with the perfect lighting.  Or artists and musicians obviously.

Ice CaveBut one might say it’s mainly for weird right-brained types like Josh.  Hey, I just finished a book called Prosperity with Purpose where Mike Franks tells of his journey through getting rich in the corporate world and then facing trial.  In his journey he took a trip to the woods and God showed Him his calling to be artistic.  This is for everyone.

God shows Himself through the beauty and ingenuity of His creation, the intricacy of human nature, and the arts, words, and sounds from His people.  David declares this all through the Psalms.  I imagine him looking from his tower at night in awe at the same starry sky he looked upon as a shepherd boy and saying, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”, which would inspire him to write a song like Psalm 8 to give to his director.

There’s a line from “A Beautiful Mind” where Alisha is looking at a painting and says, “God must be a painter. Why else would we have so many colors?”  Sometimes in the middle of my petitions I’ll notice the difference in the same scene at the park, perhaps the lighting is different or leaves are turning.  I just stop for a moment and say, “Wow, you’ve painted such a great picture today.  Amazing.”

This is one of the daily things you can do to help you in your worship life.  Like any relationship you can’t wait for inspiration, but must purposely do things that awaken your heart.  So maybe you’re not a treehugger like me, but do what works for you.  He’s calling you.  Come away with Him!

Category: Arts and Music, Nature, Spiritual Thoughts, Travel, Worship | 4 comments

  • Beautiful post, Josh!

  • Children have such an amazing capacity for wonder–why on earth do we grow out of that? One of my goals for the new year is to be more childlike.

    • Josh Taylor says:

      Faith like a child. But putting away childish ways. (1 Cor 13). Innocent as dove, cunning as serpents.
      Good luck on your quest of childlike wonder, Abigail.