Pagosa Springs Vacation: A Learning Experience

Pagosa Springs Vacation: A Learning Experience

Yesterday I wrote a brief blog post about my vacation in Pagosa Springs, CO. Today, sitting at the same place I wrote yesterday, I want to expand more on the week and highlight some of the things I have seen — things that I do not normally see in my hurried up life of Evansville, IN.

For instance, I have never seen a pack of Elk gathering and running in wide-open fields. They seem to be oblivious to the chaos of life that is part and parcel of human life. I have witnessed deer playing by jumping back and forth over a fence, frolicking in the new-fallen snow. I have witnessed weather that changes from one minute to the next. As I began writing this post, it was cloudy. Now, ten minutes later, the sun is attempting to make its presence felt. In short, I have slowed down long enough to watch and observe and then think about what all of this may teach me. What does it teach? 

It teaches me that life does not always have to be in a hurry. My usual routine finds me moving from task to task, thing to thing, email to email, and call to call. It isn’t easy to slow down long enough to take in life and simply sit and think about it. This vacation has allowed me to stop and watch and enjoy. It isn’t that this cannot be done every day. It should be. It means that there are unique times to simply jettison the normal routine, being content to do that long enough to observe and enjoy all that life offers. God’s creation offers me much to enjoy if I would only slow down long enough to enjoy it. 

I have also witnessed the complete impossibility of man to control the weather. I have never seen things change so quickly and so dramatically. One minute the sun is shining, the next, the sky is pouring forth snow so thick you can hardly see a half-mile in front of you. Something is unsettling about that, but there is something to learn as well. What can I learn? I learn that I am an utterly dependent creature. Though I know that, the weather has a way of reinforcing that truth and place one in a position of total dependence on the God who calls the sun to shine and the snow to fall. As I write, my rental car is trapped five miles off the concrete, on a dirt-filled muddy road filled with snow. On Monday morning, I am scheduled to leave for home. Yet, the weather will determine my ability to get the car to the nearest paved road. I have no say in the matter. Instead, I learn (again) to trust the God of the weather and trust that he knows my needs and will accomplish his purposes. 

See what happens when one simply slows down long enough to think about things? There is much one can learn. 

Pagosa Springs Vacation

Pagosa Springs Vacation

This week I am on a much-needed break from ministerial life, enjoying a week with my wife and youngest daughter in Pagosa Springs, CO. This small town is in the area of the Rocky Mountains, and the views are breathtaking. One of the things that this town is known for is the hot springs scattered around the San Juan River that runs through town. There is what is known as “The Mother Spring” in the center of town that reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The spring is very deep, yet no one knows how deep. They have attempted measurements, but the instruments melt, not allowing any accurate record. There are warnings all around it to not enter, yet some people try, and some have died as a result. 

The weather is amazingly different from what I am used to experiencing. It changes from minute to minute. One minute the sun is shining, the next, the clouds accumulate, and it begins to snow. The town is at an elevation of about 7100 feet, with the Rockies visible in every direction. The beauty of God’s creation is wonderful to behold, and the display of his glory is truly unmistakable. Sadly, so many see the same things yet never give glory to the One who made it all for us to enjoy. 

I am thankful for the time away from the normal routine of ministry. I was more tired than I realized and am settling into this calm, peaceful week. Though my heart is never far from the people I pastor, I am grateful they afford me time away to recharge my batteries and enjoy the time with family. 

I am posting pictures on Instagram if my readers are interested. You can follow me there (@re4med).  I will try to write more about this week later.