The small group I go to has been having everyone take turns leading worship lately. When I was asked to lead worship this week I was sitting at the airport in Denver, waiting to get on my flight back home. I agreed to lead, even though I had no idea what I would be doing for worship. I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, so I didn’t really want to do the traditional ‘sing three songs and pray’ worship set.
I thought about what I’d do for the entire plane ride back to California. It wasn’t until I got home and read the email again that I decided on what I’d do. “Make it as you as possible,” the email said. I had just come back from a road trip in which the scenery had inspired me, so I decided to share some of those pictures, along with some pictures from previous trips. Along with those pictures we read some verses (mostly from Psalms) that reveal the glory that exists in nature.
I found that Walmart did same day panoramic prints, and they were actually pretty cheap. So I printed out a few to share for the worship set. To be honest, I wasn’t all that happy with the prints, they came out relatively flat. Maybe in the future I’ll try again, boosting vibrance, saturation and contrast before sending the files out again.
So anyways, here are some of the pictures I shared, along with a few new ones. Most have been posted on this blog before, but I’ve re-cropped the majority of them for Walmart’s 8×20 panoramic format.
My photographic journey begins a few years ago. I had gone on a roadtrip to Arizona and Utah with a few friends of mine. One of our stops was at the Grand Canyon. At the eastern side of the Grand Canyon is a placed called Desert Viewpoint, where there is a watchtower. It’s a pretty well known location for photography, if you search on Google for ‘desert view watchtower’ you’ll find thousands of beautiful photographs.
Another place that’s like a stadium of glory to me is the “Going to the Sun Road” through Glacier National Park in Montana. I went out there as part of a road trip with Gid last year. The road was closed for a while because of construction, so we just sat here and stared out at the amazing glacier carved canyon.
One of my favorite passages in the bible is from Psalm 19. It begins with, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” It explains why I spend a lot of time lying around waiting for sunsets when I go backpacking.
Seeing the stars, especially the Milky Way, reminds me of Psalm 8:3-4. It says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” The skies over Utah were unbelievably big this past weekend, with the Milky Way stretching pretty much horizon to horizon. It reminds me of how small I am in comparison.
I’ve been to a good number of places and have been on a good number of hikes. In all those travels the place that has made me feel the smallest is the Zion Narrows in Utah. I felt literally like a mouse in a maze at some points of the hike.
The ‘worship set’ on Wednesday ended with this verse from Ecclesiastes 4. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
I’m really thankful for the community that I have in my small group, and for all the friends who’ve gone on me on these crazy trips over the years, and have put up with waiting around for me to take these pictures.