Our family went to Lake Powell for a few days last week. The weather was amazing and the water was perfect. We squealed as we tubed the lake, sweated as we hiked the incredible red rocks, and enjoyed friends and random silliness. We camped our tents a 20-minute boat ride from the marina and soaked up the scenery completely.
I'll never forget being awaken during the night by boulders pulling away from their settings and crumbling to new places. In all of my trips to Lake Powell I'd never experienced that. The thundering echoed like the cracking of a bowling ball into pin after pin - only louder - shaking the ground. In the dark we could not see the boulders cracking and tumbling but the reality left us all speechless. We were not in danger's way . . . but as the waves of breaking rock echoed, we all had a sense of awe and smallness. That night the landscape changed.
This morning I received a text from my daughter that a dear friend had passed away in the night. As well, the news reported that a handfull of homes had been lost to a tragic wildfire just cities away from ours. And on facebook I sadly noted two police officers were killed in their vehicles as they sped to help others. The landscape has changed forever overnight for many families.
To realize we are simply visitors here, that we are surrounded by forces we do not control, and that the landscape is always changing, ebbing, flowing, building and falling . . . it is powerful.
What is my part God? What DO I control?
We control relationships. That is all. We get to choose who we love and how we love on this journey. We affirm our character and our humanity by the way we reach out and encourage, bless, and carry those who suffer when the landscape does change.
Today the landscape is forever changed for someone. Be there.
It's all part of the big picture. In reality, that IS the big picture.