Aug 102021

My computer keeps showing me pictures. Every time I wake it up from sleep, it shows me a beautiful picture and even asks if I like it, and would like to see more like it. I always say yes to the nature ones, so it keeps showing me lots of nature pictures. Beautiful icy landscapes. Tall cliffs blocking the advance of tumultuous ocean waves. A crystal stream rambling its way through a green tropical forest. You get the idea. You probably have similar pictures popping up on the screensaver of your computer, or your TV, or Roku, or smart speaker…. these days, they are everywhere.

There is a downside about seeing these pictures of beautiful places. For me at least, it plants a little seed of discontent. I look at the beautiful place in the picture, then I think about where I am, and I wish I could be there instead of here. I’m sitting in an office building behind a desk while some lucky photographer got to be sitting on a rock, behind a camera, taking a picture of a waterfall. I want to be near the Amazon waterfall, not the office water fountain.

The truth is, most of my life I’ve dreamed of being somewhere I’m not. What would it be like to live in Alaska? How about living on a boat near the ocean? Maybe I could move to the mountains. These are mostly dreams that are only fantasies. They will never come true. Just like many of the pictures on my screensaver, they are places in life where I will never roam. It’s sad in a way. But it’s also not a complete story.

When you think about the guy sitting on the rock in the Amazon taking the perfect picture of the beautiful waterfall, do you also think about how hard that rock gets after a while? Or how many mosquitoes are gnawing on his skin? Or the 100 degree temperature and 99% humidity the guy has to endure perhaps for days just to get to and from the place where he can take the picture? Would you rather see the icy landscape? I wonder how cold it is there? How many long dark cold snowy nights would I have to endure to enjoy one day of sunshine on clean fresh snow and ice?

I know what it IS like where I am. I know what it can LOOK like some places where I think I want to be. But I also know that the way something looks and the way something is are almost never the same. I just have to keep reminding myself that. About a lot of things.

Jan 102011

We woke up this morning to 6 inches of snow.  For many people, that’s not a big deal.  For folks in Atlanta GA, it’s a big deal.  We don’t often see that much snow, and when we do, it causes a major disruption in lifestyle. 

Sam and Annie enjoying the snow

In Georgia, we’re really not prepared for snow.  Our fleet of “snow plows” consists of a few sad dump trucks with a blade stuck on the front.   Thus, the roads quickly become an icy mess.  Six inches of snow means just about everyone stays home because it’s just too dangerous and / or difficult to drive.   They talk about it on the news for hours on end.  They even cancel schools at the prediction of snow.  All because it’s way out of the Southern “comfort zone” and we are just not prepared for it.

You really can’t blame us for not being prepared.  Some things are just not worth the trouble.  Would it really make sense for Atlanta to buy a fleet of snow plows just so they could be used for a few days every decade?  I think not. 

So what is there to do on a snowy day in Atlanta?  We just go with the flow.  Write in a blog, sled down the hill, throw a few snow balls with Sam, make a snow angel, and be grateful for a peaceful, quiet, beautiful day at home.   On second thought, maybe we are ready to deal with the snow.  Perhaps I could use a few more snow days.  Or maybe, I just need a bunch more days of living the “snow day” way.

Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars; Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and maidens; Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.
     – Psalm 148:7-13  NKJV

Nov 222010

I went to Olla Louisiana last week.  It’s a little place, a very little place, in the middle of the state.  I was there for a business trip, but I took some binoculars with me because I figured I might get to see some stars at night.  After all, Olla is a long way from anywhere.  Bright city lights should not be a problem.

In Atlanta, the bright city lights do overwhelm some of the stars.   Sometimes it’s frustrating.  I tried to see a comet a few weeks ago, but even though it was a clear night, the sky was just too bright.  The comet was nowhere to be seen.  Unable to outshine the lights of the city.

Since it was a very small town in the middle of the countryside, I figured things would be different in Olla . . . and they were.  I saw even fewer stars in Olla than I had seen in Atlanta.  The city lights weren’t the problem; the clouds were.  An overcast sky is pretty deadly to a stargazing party, even in Olla.

When I got back home, I looked up at a clear Atlanta sky.  There were the stars.  Maybe not as many as a clear sky in the country would reveal, but more than enough to reveal the glory of God’s creation. 

Sometimes I do grumble about living in Atlanta.  The crowds and congestion can be frustrating.  However, I do believe it is where God has put me, at least for now.   And, whether stargazing or just living life, I would rather have a clear sky in Atlanta than a cloudy sky in Olla any time.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
            –  1 Timothy 6:6-8  NKJV

Oct 082010

A Spider Lily in the Middle of the Yard

A Spider Lily in the Middle of the Yard

Bloom where you are planted.  It’s the best way to get your beauty noticed. . . and to keep from getting mowed over.  😉

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.   – Luke 12:27