Psalm 95:1-5 Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
I’m sitting here in the Dallas Fortworth Airport trying to get home. Our layover flight has been delayed, and we likely won’t make it home until 3:00 am. I have found myself with a few hours of idle time, and I confess that I don’t idle well. I am trying to return home after eight days of vacation after all, so I’m kind of in a hurry to get back home to the family and the critters. However, there is nothing I can do but wait…and praise God…and tell you good folks about the wonderful vacation we are returning home from.
My husband, Jeff, planned this vacation, booked it, and handled all of the details. All I had to do was pack and go. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I’ll admit that I was a bit leary, but as always everything turned out even better than expected. He booked an eight day vacation in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Oh, I’ve seen the Tetons first hand before and was very happy to return. The part I wasn’t sure about was the middle 4 days and 3 nights of the trip. Those days would be spent on a wagon train in the mountains, camping in cowboy tents….without the comforts of electricity….or running water. This country girl can adapt, but I must admit that I have a great fondness for electricity and hot showers!
Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, the moment that we landed at the Jackson Hole Airport, I knew that this would be a vacation of a lifetime. How? It was simple. I was greeted by the majesty of the Grand Tetons upon landing, and I saw, once again, with my very own eyes the absolute majesty of our Lord and Savior. The splendor and detail of His creation took my breath away. I just knew that everything would be alright.
We spent a couple of days in the town of Jackson Hole, WY, and on the third day, a bus picked us up and drove my husband and I and 34 other strangers up into the mountains to a very remote place. We were given a brief overview, served lunch, and then we either rode horseback or rode in covered wagons to our campsite. Once we arrived, we set up our tents and began to get busy getting to know the crew and the other campers. Each day, we rode horses, enjoyed visiting with new found friends, learned to throw knives and tomahawks and learned to rope a steer, and each night we slept under the stars. We also learned to share an outhouse with about 50 people. The cook served delicious hot meals three times a day cooked over an open fire and in Dutch ovens. After a good nights sleep each night, we awoke each morning to hot cowboy coffee and a hot breakfast. We would then break down our tents, pack up camp, and travel by horse or by wagon to the next camp.
My description probably doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but I must confess that this was truly one of my most memorable vacations ever. It was definitely different than any we have taken before, but it was not a bad kind of different. On the trail, we prayed openly before every meal inviting God into our camp and asking his blessings on our trip as well as praising Him for His goodness and glory. We went up on that mountain with 34 strangers and about 10 wranglers who were also strangers, but in four short days, we made friendships that will last a lifetime. We had no cell phones or internet distractions. There were no electronic devices. We had the mountain, the wagons, the horses, and the people. We communicated with one another. We shared our life stories, and we listened. We were taken back to a different time when people actually communicated with one another, worked together, prayed together, and laughed together. Most importantly, we saw and experienced the great majesty of our Lord. We were surrounded by unexplainable beauty.
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. Sometimes, we need to slow down and get away from the chaos of everyday life so that we can remind ourselves of the greatness of our God. We tend to get so overwhelmed with all of the white noise that roars in our ears daily, and it becomes difficult to recognize God’s majesty. You don’t have to go up on a mountain, my friend, but I do pray that you take some time to look for God in all things each day. He is in the glorious morning sunrises and the late evening sunsets. He is in the laughter of a baby, the colorful fluttering wings of a butterfly, and in all of the vibrant flowers we see each day. For it is our great God that created all of these things. His majesty is on the mountains for sure, but it can also be found in the valleys. You don’t have to take a vacation to find Him. He is right here, right now, waiting for you to enjoy His presence. Let us sing praises and shout joyfully to the Lord of our salvation.