This week the Lifeway bloggers have given you an insight into the things that inspire us. When I first received this assignment my mind began to wonder – what does inspire me? I thought about the ways children inspire me — seeing their faces light up as they experience activities at church. I thought about how many family inspires me — getting to spend time with my wife and children (who are not inspired that school is starting). And I thought about how spending time with God inspires me —reading and meditating on God’s Word each day.
While all three of these areas are great inspirations, and provide help in different ways in my life, I thought about something else that provides inspiration for me —the natural world. Several years ago, I made a challenge with myself to visit as many of the national parks as possible. Since this time I’ve visited Mount Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, The Great Smokey Mountains, The Badlands, and many other parks. As I explore the beauty of the parks, watch the wild life, and snap more pictures than is humanly necessary I\’m captured by the beauty and awe of what I\’m seeing. It is amazing how just in the United States God created so many different landforms, animals, and beauty.
One of my most favorite parks to visit is Yellowstone. My last visit was five years ago (my wife and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary at Yellowstone). As Kim and I walked through the park, horse backed with others, went white water rafting, and watch "Old Faithful" faithfully erupt, I couldn\’t help but think about the words of the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth."
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
While the majestic waterfalls of Yellowstone, the mighty rivers and lakes, the eruptions of "Old Faithful" and the buffalo walking so close to my car I could reach out and touch them (OK – I didn\’t, but I wanted to) were all inspiring, it was the mud pots that were the most amazing to me. It think it was because of their simplicity and relaxed way of bubbling. I thought, here is something many people drive right past, but if it were not for the mud pots, what would be of all the other things in Yellowstone? I thought about how God purposefully designed the mud pots and how grateful I was for them.
Sometimes in life we get caught up in the "bigger is better" mentality. While the "Old Faithfuls" may attract people to the park, it is the mud pots and smaller things behind the scenes that keep "Old Faithful" able to do its job. My inspiration from mud pots — be the best mud pot or "Old Faithful" I can be.
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