A Post Vacation Post
Not wishing to advertise my absence, I left for two weeks of vacation without mentioning it here. Now that I’m back, I can tell you where we went. I drove west to Interstate 35 letting our younger daughter take the controls at the Ottawa, Kansas Visitor Center. She piloted us to Wichita, Kansas where I resumed driving. She still got to use her new learner’s permit elsewhere, as I let her experience the roads everywhere we visited except Utah.
We went through Greensburg, Kansas just before dark. Even in the dimness, the staggering destruction from the May tornado was evident everywhere. Please keep these people in your prayers (and gifts, if possible) as they continue rebuilding while being largely ignored by the media.
Part of this vacation was intended as a time of family visiting. Therefore, after resting in Dalhart, Texas, we drove to Prescott, Arizona, spending several enjoyable days with my mother and my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. We later drove up to Farmington, New Mexico to visit my brother, his wife, and their older son. Church was at Trinity Lutheran in Cortez, Colorado, where it happened that we caught Pastor Thompson’s final sermon before his moving to a new congregation in Louisiana.
Otherwise, the four Snyders (me, Mrs. Me, the 15 year old, and the 6 year old grandson) involved ourselves in hiking, climbing, and viewing. We spent much of the time in various national parks. We went partway down the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail (sorry, Brighty died a long time back), across Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, up Mesa Verde, through Arches, and around Florissant Fossil Beds. If one could tire of natural beauty, we’d all have been exhausted.
Heading home, we spent time in Colorado Springs, touring Cave of the Winds. Colorado Springs also owns one of our nation’s most impressive city parks and we enjoyed our time in the Garden of the Gods. We also drove up Pikes Peak, rediscovering the vista that moved Katharine Lee Bates to write America the Beautiful in 1893. The song and the view always remind me to continue praying that “God shed His grace on” my native land.
Since I once lived in the Southwest (Gallup, New Mexico), some of these places I already knew. Stephanie and the Kid had visited some of them with me. Others were new to all of us and just about everything west of Kansas City was new to the Grandkid.
While traveling, the main annoyance wasn’t the almost daily rain of the “monsoon season,” not even while tenting in Mesa Verde. Nor was it the sometimes brutal heat of the desert, since we rarely found temperatures above 90. The 3800 miles actually sailed by quite smoothly, with little arguing or pouting by adults or children. No, what bothered the three older members of the party was an unrelenting stream of naturalistic, godless origin and formation stories in brochures, on signs, and through ranger talks, all contrary to our belief in a Creator, His Creation, and a catastrophic Flood. Imagine an almost daily diet professing no plan, purpose, or salvation for what’s obviously a broken world filled with hurting and often hurtful people.
Still, this was truly a refreshing and renewing time for all. The days of rest and recreation showed God’s wisdom in establishing a regular Sabbath at the beginning of human history (see Genesis 2:1-3, contra the evolutionary theories in the parks). Similarly, Jesus noted humanity’s need for regular rest, saying, “The Sabbath was made for man. (Mark 2:27)” For me, this means that while Christ remains our true Sabbath rest, we are also blessed by being allowed to take advantage of the other sabbaths our Father provides for us.
So now that I’m rested, I hope to get caught up with some of the responses I’ve made but not posted and begin again replying to new questions.
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.
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