August 18, 2010

Beauty and The Beast

“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” Psalm 119:35 (NIV)

Today, I want to tell you about my delight from God.

Living in Denver brought out the “hiker-chick” in me. Since moving home, I have missed my mountains and hiking in them. Walking here in Florida is good and I am trying to do more of it. However, there is something that resonates “sacred” within my soul when walking the wilderness.

Something else I should point out. I am an avid critter person. I love critters of all shapes and sizes. God did some pretty spectacular work in creating critters. They bring a great range of emotion and pleasure in our lives. I have been fortunate to count many critters in my “Yep, I’ve seen them in the wild” experiences.

I’ve fed chipmunks and even had one crawling on my shirt this vacation. I’ve seen a mountain lion run across a four lane highway in front of my car. I have pictures of elk, antelope, moose and marmots. I’ve even been chased by a gator, Gail you can stop laughing now.

But one or two critters have escaped capture by my camera. Sad to say, I’d never seen a bear – except in a zoo. Also sad to say, I am the idiot that wants to see a bear. My friends think I am odd, but I guess that is the wonder of me.

I know the dangers and I don’t have a death wish but I REALLY want to see a bear. I once heard Luci Swindol talk about praying for a lion while in Africa and it worked. So I figured I’d give prayer a shot. Now my prayer for several years has been very specific: a) Lord, I want to see a bear. b) I’d like it to be at a safe distance. c) I’d like to not be eaten and d) I want to get a picture.

Be careful what you pray for.

On Friday morning July 30, Bob and I hiked the Maroon Bells trail in Aspen before heading into Denver for a church event. We’d hiked past the lake up a very small, muddy trail. Woods and mountains encompassed us. Because the trees were dense, the sky was obscured. It was shady and cool and exquisite. Then I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a chipmunk!

I love chipmunks. I am very fond of Chip and Dale and wondered which one had run across my path. So I began to sneak up the trail, tiptoeing silently. Bob, who was lurking behind me, figured out what I was doing and followed suite. The only sound heard was a soft rustling of the leaves.

Then another movement caught my attention, just in front me. At first, I figured another hiker was coming downhill. But this hiker was all brown and had the cutest face. OMG! It was a bear! A real bear! A bear that probably had real teeth! I stopped dead in my tracks, hoping that would only be a figure of speech.

My first reaction was to take cover (slowly) behind an Aspen tree. This was laughable since an Aspen is only slightly bigger round than a toothpick. Actually, I had no sense of fear whatever, which really surprised me. Yet, a sense of alertness and caution came on strong. Without turning around, I quietly asked Bob to stop and back up slowly. He was confused why we’d do this over a chipmunk, until I said, “Bear.”

Even then, I suppose he wasn’t too worried, as I was the one in front! I wanted a picture so bad, but decided the one in my brain was sufficient and kept backing up, very slowly, careful to not turn my back on our new friend. Within a few seconds, I had skillfully maneuvered behind my hubby, who wasn’t moving at all! Why?

I realized my sweetie had the camera and was taking aim. There was glare on our screen but he snapped a shot and then the bear moved! Gulp! No worries, mate. Mr. Bear only turned to proceed merrily up the mountain, no where near us or the path back to civilization.

Needless to say, God heard my prayer, and yes to my naysayer buddies, He answered my prayer! He give me such a delight that I about danced all the way back down the path, taking great and glorious pride in announcing, “We just saw a bear!” to everyone we met.

So you see nothing super spiritual except God delighted me to my toes. We all need a good delight now and then. What can God do to delight you today? Maybe you don’t want to see a bear. Maybe you just want 5 minutes of alone time. Ask Him. Perhaps seeing a rainbow would you thrill you to no ends. Ask Him. Ask Him to surprise you. Delight in God and let Him - delight you today.

Delightfully loving God,

For those who want proof:


  1. That looked like a grisley...which are the most agressive towards humans.

  2. You're right - I did laugh! I had a bear come and sniff around my tent one night while camping in the Ocala Nat'l Forest. The footprints were pretty good size for a Florida black bear! G-d protected us for sure.