Friday, October 18, 2013

A Man's Joy

The girls photographing Trumpeter Swans in Yellowstone.
Psalm 111:2  Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
I want to share two things about the trip I recently took which brought me tremendous joy. This doesn't take away from the joy of just being with my bride through this—away from phones, email, the fire department pager, etc. She is my best friend and my pal and she knows in complete security how much I treasured that time hanging out with her, and she understands what I am about to say (and rejoices with me in them)!

Abigail capturing a Yellowstone Geyser.
The first thing was to be able to see this land with the scales removed from my eyes. The last time I saw most of the land we traveled through I probably gave a nominal nod to God having created it, but I certainly didn't believe the Bible's account of how He did . . . and I found myself struggling to fully understand the land with the explanations given of evolution, millions of years of slow change, etc. I accepted it because "science" said it was true, but while the land was beautiful, I missed the most glorious part of it. This time, though, I was able to travel the land with a whole different pair of glasses. Instead of the old earth, uniformitarianism view of slow change at the rate of change we see today, I was able to see the land through the eyes of the Bible and (wow!) it changed everything!

Bethany photographing the
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
In preparation for what we call our "Creation Trip" I was privileged to talk with different people—some with degrees in geology, one with a Masters degree in atmospheric science, another with a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology—scientists and lay people with degrees who used to be old earth evolutionists and are now young earth Creationists. They were able to talk to me about the land we'd be traveling through and tell me what we should make a point to see and how we could see Biblical evidence in it. We also were able to get different guidebooks and geology books written from a young earth Creationist scientist perspective and read them as we traveled.

Abigail in the Tetons.
I can't tell you how amazing that was, and how the land I traveled through finally made sense! When you know what to look for and see it through the lens of a young earth, spoken Creation with age; followed by the curse of sin and a catastrophic global flood and the scaring of receding waters; followed by rupturing inland bodies of water; followed by a singular ice age; suddenly the land around you reads like a book. All of a sudden the scales were falling off and I could see clearly, and it was stunning. I was in awe of what I saw, in awe picturing the land through its different phases, and in frequent prayer and lifting of praises to the One to whom it all is attributed. It was an incredible joy and privilege, and I'll never be the same for it.

Abigail posing Mom by a T-Rex (I believe)
at the Museum of the Rockies.
The second thing that brought me tremendous joy that I want to share was to travel the land as a father and to simply take pictures of my girls taking pictures! Yes, I took pictures of scenery for pleasure and some times for maybe using later in teachings, but the most fun was watching them and capturing them seeing the land through their eyes. We had spent quite a bit of time teaching them photography as part of homeschool before the trip so they could make the most of it, and to see them using those skills and processing God's Creation was a father's joy. It was simply incredible to see their faces the first time they saw a grizzly, or a geyser, or the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, or found their first fossil, or . . .

Bethany photographing in the
John Day fossil area of Oregon.
I am reminded of Hebrews 11—God's New Testament Hall of Fame of faith. In it He lists praise after praise of His children who stood in faith. If we read the Old Testament each of them had faults and shortcomings, but on the other side of the cross He has washed those away and He simply delights in bragging on His kids. I thought of that as I stared at this incredible scenery . . . and found the greatest joy taking pictures of my girls taking pictures of it. It was truly a father's joy to share this with them and to see their eyes being opened to God, His Creation, His Creativity, and His evidence.
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
I'll post a few more pictures of my girls taking pictures tomorrow for those who might enjoy them. Thanks for reading, sharing in my life, and caring. Blessings to all of you.   —Erick

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