Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth.
On Sunday, June 11th, at 7:15 a.m. in the morning, my household members and I and a few other friends hopped into 2 cars and headed for Smith Rock State park located in Central Oregon’s high desert just 30 minutes from my home in Bend, Oregon. Smith Rock is known for its sheer cliffs that make it ideal for rock climbing at all difficulty levels. My group was certainly not there to scale the rock walls but rather to walk half of Misery trail with the goal to be done by 10:00 a.m.
After parking the car and walking down the path to the entrance of the canyon where the story board explains the origins of Smith Rock, I realized that my broken toe, though healing, would not survive the Misery trail, so I told them to go ahead without me and that I would sit on the bench that overlooks the canyon and just meditate and pray until they returned.
The 2 hours I spent looking out over the canyon ended up being an amazing spiritual experience for me that is worth sharing with you. I took the picture I uploaded for this post from the bench I sat on. First I read the story board that began with “Smith Rock State Park presents an awesome demonstration of the power and diversity of volcanic activity.” The rocks in the canyon were created from two volcanic explosions. The board went on to explain how the crooked river was pushed up to the base of Smith Rock.
As I sat and stared at the glory of the canyon before me, pair after pair, and group after group of rock climbers walked by me to make their descent into the canyon. They were fit and had their colorful ropes tied to their backpacks and all had one thing in common, the lift in their step as they anticipated the day’s climbing experience. Others quietly read the story board and then happily started walking down the steep path wearing shoes that indicated they were not attempting a difficult hike that day. I saw a couple who had sophisticated camera equipment, and I reflected on how breathtaking their pictures were going to be. I overheard people talking about the Eagle’s nest in the canyon.
As the groups of people walked by me, my eyes would follow them as they headed for the bottom of the canyon. Their ever changing diminishing form from my stationary position was awe inspiring because the size of the canyon was making the people look like tiny specs of color. Yet, if I were in a plane, the canyon would look much smaller compared to the expansive state of Oregon and the heavens above.
The sky above the canyon was in constant motion as the clouds were moving at a furious pace with a 15 minute period when all the clouds disappeared to reveal a glorious blue sky. As I sat staring at the sky, the canyon floor, its sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt were all speaking loudly to me without saying a word. The sky and the canyon were pouring forth speech that God is the creator of the eagle, the river, the sheer rocks and the weather patterns swirling and changing in the sky above me. This is God’s cathedral and it cannot be compared to any cathedral that man has ever made. This canyon directs my heart to the God of heaven and earth, and I can’t wait to see him in heaven one day!!!