Friday, July 22, 2011
Compliments of God
The Oakes family took a needed vacation this last week. We visited four national parks, took many great pictures and made some good memories.
Along the way I found I was taking more and more pictures of nature than I have in the past.
A couple months ago, I attended a birthday party where we created our own masterpieces using acrylics on canvas. I loved to paint when I was young, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my visual creative juices flowing again. I enjoyed mixing the colors and putting together different shapes and shades. But it felt a bit contrived and I was disappointed with my “creation.”
But when I was taking pictures of the wonders of Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon, I found myself looking at textures and colors. I found myself asking what it took to create those textures and colors.
The bright oranges of all the national parks we visited are unusual but there was more. I wanted to share with you some of those other textures and why they mean so much.
These twisted trees didn’t happen overnight. They grew from small saplings and encountered years of wind, rain and drought to twist into such shapes. While it might take me a few hours to paint such a tree, it took nature years to produce this masterpiece.
But there’s more. Look at the colors and lines in these pictures of rocks. Some might say that reading the science behind them tends to dull the senses and destroy the delight that they produce just by looking at them. But science reveals something more subtle, something more genuine. Science reveals that it took centuries upon centuries to create these parks.
First the stone had to be built which in the case of the Grand Canyon, consists of many layers of sandstone, limestone and shale. The continental drift due to the shifting of the moving plates of the earth coupled with active volcanoes took care of that. Then water from the Colorado River dug deep into the rock, wearing it down slowly. After the water receded, the other weather elements like ice, and wind worked their magic by chipping away at the stone.
The results are breathtaking, which is why so many people go to explore these parks. I found myself wondering if all the visitors to the parks understood what they were viewing, what they were experiencing. “The awesomeness of nature,” was one response I heard.
But I suspect, maybe unknowingly, the connection goes much deeper. I believe there is a distinct quality that allows human beings to appreciate of be in awe of nature. I think innately we allow ourselves to connect with the Artist. We say we are “connecting with nature,”, but what we are really doing is connecting with God.
There is an undeniable eternal connection we feel when we see such natural beauty. It is distinct and takes our breath away. It is our connection to the eternal, and that is not something we are able to shy away from. It’s something we are drawn to without explanation.
I hope you enjoy these textures that God has provided for us. Visit your local nature and connect with the Artist.