This past summer I had the pleasure of going to one of my favorite spots, the Galatian Canyon near Bozeman, Montana. The canyon has meadows, a beautiful flowing river, small waterfalls when snow pack pours into the river, and the delicious smell of pine trees. I believe that when God was thinking about places He might live on earth, He created this amazing canyon. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this place in person, you might know it from the movie, A River Runs Through it where Brad Pitt, Craig Sheffer and Tom Skerritt fly fish throughout the movie.
Too often I find myself, and maybe you do too, in the midst of a hunt for the clues and answers in how to make life a little simpler; where I am not running from one thing to the next, worrying about what this means or how I will handle that situation. Somehow, I feel like there must be a formula that puts all this stuff into an orderly and organized manner.
But then I remember this place. The forest is full of life and energy but it doesn’t feel the same as the rush from one meeting to the next, carpooling children and family around, and trying to complete the to-do list that always seems longer than is possible to complete. Instead, the only rushing that exists is the tender breeze blowing the scent of pine my way.
The forest seems to have no anxiety, worry or fear that plagues it. Things happen, they keep going, but the weights that continue to press upon us don’t seem to exist. Instead, the forest seems to say, ‘life will keep going, the river will continue to flow. Trust in the beauty God created.’
Every time I come to this place all I can hear are the words of the Psalmist, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The beauty of this place begs you to pause for just a moment and the rest of the world seems to fade away. The stillness invites us to feel the presence of God even though life seems to be a little overwhelming.
This when I realized that the formula or answers to the mystery of life aren’t found in the right order of getting things completed, nor is it found in the things we do or don’t do. It is found in being still and knowing that God has it under control.
This is hard, and that is why we have to find the place that reminds us to rest. Whatever it is that is going on - meetings, test results, worries, fears and pain - God has it under control. The only answer we have is rest in God and we will make it through.
It is extra hard to remember this when schedules are full and life seems chaotic, but that is why I keep a picture of the Galatian Canyon on my desktop background and screen saver - so that I can be constantly reminded of the place that brings about complete rest and trust in God.
Where is that place for you? Maybe you have the place where you believe God would live. If not, I am happy to share mine. Remember, whatever is going on in your life today, be at peace with the words of Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.”