When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? (Psalms 8:3-4 NRSV)

On one of his many travels across the United States Charles Kuralt unexpectedly spent a night on Mount McKinley. He had planned just a day visit, but the plane that carried him to the glacier was unable to bring him back. Since it was getting late Charles and Izzy, a photographer who worked with him would have to spend the night. Charles admits a feeling of fear swept over him in that strange deserted place.

There was a cabin on the mountain not too far from where they were, their pilot told them. They would be able to spend the night there. The men hiked for nearly an hour before they found the simple cabin. The cabin was small, six-sided and half buried in snow. Inside there were sleeping shelves along the walls. What seemed strange to Charles when he first arrived was the large windows. After eating stew the men were ready for bed. But then they looked out those same windows. They were taken by surprise by what they saw. For one night only they had the best seats on the planet for nature's most spectacular show. They stayed up watching in delight and wonder. The scene faded away only with the rising of the sun. Both of them were left awed and exhausted. That morning Charles began to wonder if maybe the pilot left him on the mountain on purpose. Maybe the pilot sized them up as a couple of guys who thought they were in a bigger hurry than they really were and would benefit from a night to slow down and look around and think about this place where they were. It would be a night Charles Kuralt would never forget.

Such experiences are never really planned; they just happen, and when they do we are grateful. What experiences has God given to you that you are grateful for?

Loving God, thank you for the times when I am forced to slow down, so that I can experience anew your great creation. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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